What is Halloween?

Halloween is a holiday that is observed on October 31; in 2022, it falls on a Monday.

The custom has its roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, when people would dress up and build bonfires to fend off ghosts.

Pope Gregory III established November 1 as a day to celebrate all saints in the ninth century. All Saints Day soon started to adopt some Samhain customs. Halloween has changed throughout the years to become a day filled with festivities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive get-togethers, dressing up, and enjoying sweets.

There have been Halloween celebrations for over a thousand years. Originally a religious holiday, it gradually lost its religious overtones as it became more and more secular throughout the ages. Today, Halloween is seen as a fun occasion where people dress up, especially kids. Even while the celebration started in Celtic areas in Ireland, the UK, and France, and has since swiftly extended to other countries across the globe

Though it was somewhat popular in the Southern colonies, the original American colonists in New England were banned to celebrate it for religious grounds. By the 1800s, harvest festivals in the fall included elements of Halloween, and Irish immigrants fleeing the catastrophic Potato Famine brought many Halloween customs that are still practiced today.

As Irish and Scottish communities revived the Old World tradition of "guising," where a person would dress in costume and tell a joke, recite a poem, or do some other trick in exchange for a piece of fruit or other treats, trick-or-treating, in which children dress up in costumes and solicit treats from neighbors was born and has characterized Halloween ever since.

According to the National Retail Federation, Halloween is currently one of the biggest holidays for candy sales in the US.


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