In the middle of March I wrote a super successful post about the history and origin of St. Patrick’s day. I wanted to research it because honestly I didn’t know anything about it. Yet I was dressing Morgan in green head to toe! That post ended up launching a series of posts after I received multiple comments to create a post for each holiday. I will have to explain each holiday to Morgan anyway. What a better way than to actually learn the facts behind them. You can read all of the past posts below:
I learned so much from doing these posts, and I found that I really enjoyed researching and writing them. Today I will be sharing with you How To Explain The Spirit Of Halloween To Your Toddler. Because so many countries and cultures have their own Halloween/All Saints Day celebrations I focused on how we celebrate Halloween here in the United States.
I would once again like to thank my wonderful friend Google. As always Google was able to steer me in so many fascinating directions while researching this history. Prior to my research I had no idea why we would dress is costumes, carve pumpkins or say trick or treat on Halloween. I hope you truly learn as much as I did.
- There are several conflicting origins of the Halloween that we celebrate today. For instance Halloween has been traced back to the Celtic Pagan Festival of Samhain, which means ‘Summer’s End’ or ‘End of the Harvest Season’. The Celts believed that during the end of the year the boundaries between spirits and humans became very thin.
- In the Pagan celebrations Halloween became a time of superstition. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to confuse wandering ghosts and evil spirits.
- The Christian holiday of Halloween on the other hand is celebrated for three days. November 1st being the Feast of All Saints and November 2nd being All Souls’ Day, so by default October 31st became known as the Eve of All Saints, or All Hallows’ Eve.
- According to American folklore Irish immigrants fleeing the famines in Ireland during the first half of the 19th century brought the Halloween beliefs and customs with them. Because they brought a mixture of the Pagan and Christian celebrations the modern day practice of Halloween incorporates both Christian and Pagan rituals.
- Today Americans celebrate Halloween by dressing up in costumes, telling stories of witches and ghosts, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns and going trick or treating from house to house.
- The act of trick or treating, or “guising” (from the word “disguising”), actually began in the Middle-Ages. Children and poor adults would dress up in disguises and go door to door begging for food or money. In return they would offer songs and prayers for the loved ones the families lost.
- Another interesting act that we engage in today is the carving of jack-o’-lanterns. In Ireland the carving of turnips, potatoes or beets was most common. The Irish Immigrants along with the custom of Halloween also brought with them the jack o’lantern tradition. However, they soon found that pumpkins which are indigenous to America, make for the perfect jack-o’-lantern.
I feel much better knowing the history and origin of one of my favorite Fall celebrations. I hope you enjoyed learning about How To Explain The Spirit Of Halloween To Your Toddler. It really is an interesting history. Thank you for reading!!!