It’s that time of year again.
Parents are decorating the house and front porch with pumpkins, goblins and ghosts. Kids are getting excited about their costumes and the massive tummy-ache they’ll have at the end of the night. Will they be batman or superman? Cinderella or wonder-woman? The delinquent teenagers are out buying a ton of toilet paper, because for them the trick is the treat. Beautiful women become sexy cats, or rabbits, or any other animal that allows them to be slutty for the night. Men become pilots, Spartan gladiators, or doctors. Anything to get their ego going.
Yes. Halloween is upon us, so costume up and get ready for some fun!
But where did this awesome tradition of costumes and candy come from? And for how long have we been doing it?
Well, while there isn’t a surefire answer as to the true date of origin of Halloween, this much we know:
The tradition of dressing up in costumes and roaming around the neighborhood in search of sweet treats, a.k.a. trick or treating, has been around in the U.S. and Western Europe for roughly 100 years. The term “trick or treat” became part of pop culture by the early 1950’s, when cartoons such as The Peanuts and Daffy Duck used the term.
However, the ancient origin of Halloween can likely be traced 2000 years back to the Celtic Holiday Samhain. The Celts, from the region now known as the United Kingdom and Ireland, believed that the dead would return to earth on October 31, the holiday of Samhain. They would get dressed in different animal skins to disguise themselves and hide from phantoms and ghosts. Massive feasts, with bonfires and various sacrifices, would occur in honor of the dead.
By the year 1000 A.D., Christianity had spread throughout Europe, including in the Celtic regions. As with all Pagan holidays, the Church decided to claim a Catholic Holiday on the day of Samhain. The day of all saints, or Hallows, became the dominant holiday. With time, the name changed to Halloween, but the traditions of the ancient Samhain prevailed. In the Celtic regions, people would still wear costumes, but the tradition evolved into the poor going door to door, collecting food from the rich. Eventually, the holiday evolved to revolve around the children, their treats and their tricks.
So, whether you are a slutty policewoman or a scary vampire, remember that you are fulfilling an ancient tradition and hiding from the spirits that roam the earth on this day.
Costume up and get your trick on!