October 31, 2016, falls on a Monday.
Halloween night falls on a Monday this year, meaning that there will be a whole weekend of festivities leading up to the celebration on All Hallows’ Eve. For those of you who want to know more about the holiday and how it came to be, read on.
As many know, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. According to History.com, it is believed that Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic Festival of Samhain, when people lit bonfires in costumes to ward off ghosts. 2,000 years ago, the Celts lived in an area that is now Ireland, and celebrated the new year on November 1– the day signified the end of summer and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that the “the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred” on the night of October 31.
When Halloween first came to colonial New England, its celebration was limited because of the Protestant belief systems of the region– it was a more popular holiday in southern states. Original Halloween celebrations in the US involved play parties, where people would get together to celebrate the harvest by sharing stories of the dead, dancing and singing. When immigrants made their way to the US in the midst of the Irish potato famine, Halloween became a larger celebration and Americans began to dress up in costumes and visit one another’s homes, asking for food and money. History.com writes, “Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.”
According to The Telegraph, the phrase “trick or treat” was coined in the US in 1927, and coincided with the influx of immigrants who disguised themselves in costumes and performed pranks in exchange for candy. Overtime, costumes became heavily influenced by pop culture.
The word Halloween comes from ‘Hallowed evening’, and celebrates the day before All Hallows Day (also known as All Saints’ Day).