Posted on

The Brief History of Halloween

The history of Halloween goes deeper than tricks, treats, and Celestial Gifts holiday themed bags. Thought to have originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain, the Celtic’s believed that on October 31st the barriers between the physical and spiritual worlds would fade, allowing ghosts, demons, and the undead to re-inhabit our world. During this night, the priests and druids of the Celtic communities were believed to receive fortune telling powers that could predict the future, offering comfort and direction for the dark, cold winter ahead. But while fortunes were being told, spirits would run amok, playing tricks on humanity and ruining crops.

These Celtic traditions were later adapted to early Christianity’s All Saints Day in 1,000 A.D., where the poor would visit the homes of the wealthy to receive “soul cakes.” In exchange, the poor would provide the homeowner with a promise to pray for the souls of their dead relatives. Later in Scotland and Ireland, this practice was named “guising,” and children would visit the homes of the wealthy dressed in costume and perform a trick, sing, or recite a poem in exchange for a “treat.”

More recently, Irish and Scottish immigrants fleeing the 1840s potato famine helped to popularize Halloween by reestablishing these traditions in the U.S. Candy wouldn’t become a commonplace to the holiday until the end of the Great Depression, once sugar rationing was ended, allowing candy companies to capitalize on the holiday, making room for the trick-or-treat bags, and candy-filled satchels that we know of today.