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The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

Halloween customs developed over time

Halloween is a holiday of many mysterious superstitious customs, but each one has a history or at least a story behind it.

Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Eve, which is on Nov. 1. This day is a Catholic Day to honor saints. But in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The Celtic people believed that on the night of summer’s end, the souls of those who died would return in search of living bodies to possess.

To keep the spirits from not possessing them, people would dress up in costumes and cause lots of noise in the streets to scare them away. Also, people would wear masks and costumes to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.The Celts lit bonfires in honor of the dead to aid them on their journey and to keep them away from the living.

On the other hand, the ancient Gaels believed that on October 31 the boundaries between the worlds of the “living” and the “dead” overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc in the towns.

In Old England, Halloween also became a day of divination, the practice of seeking knowledge with a host of magical beliefs. For example, the Samhain believed that if a person holds a mirror on Halloween and walks backwards down the stairs into the basement, the face that appears on the mirror will be their next lover.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840’s by Irish immigrants that fled their country’s potato famine. In New England, some pranks that would occur on Halloween were tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.

During the present day, trick-or-treating  is something that everybody can enjoy on the night of Halloween. On this night. people can go from house to house asking for candy, or go out to parties with your friends.

Many children dress up in cute, funny, or scary costumes and visit other homes in the neighborhood. At each house, they demand sweets, snacks or a small gift. If they do not get this, they threaten to do some harm to the inhabitants of the house. This is the trick aspect of trick or treating.

It is thought that trick-or-treating has originated not with the Irish Celts but with a ninth-century European custom called “souling.”

In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to enjoy the season by gathering costumes and sweet treats.

To this day, all present Halloween traditions can be traced to the ancient Celtic Day of the dead.

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About the Contributor
Stacia Papuga
Stacia Papuga, Sports Editor
Making her way into her sophomore year, this crazy, outgoing, adventurous and athletic girl is now taking her place as “Sports Editor.” Other than writing, Stacia values playing her two favorite sports basketball and softball. Even though she is all about sports, she focuses on her school work before anything and it shows. She may seem shy at first, but when you get to know her, you’ll see her personality come out. Stacia loves watching Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and she loves watching movies. A quote from her favorite show is “Sometimes you need to step outside, clear your head and remind yourself of who you are. And where you wanna be. And sometimes you have to venture outside your world in order to find yourself,”

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