Halloween is celebrated on October 31st each year. Halloween 2018 will fall on a Wednesday. This article will offer a brief overview of the history of Halloween, as well as as how it is celebrated around the world.
When Do We Celebrate Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated on the same date every year. In the United States, Canada, and Ireland, it is the day before All Saints’ Day, which is on November 1.
Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?
The origins of Halloween are believed to be the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare off wandering ghosts.
In the eight century Pope Gregory declared November 1 All Saints Day to honor the dead. The day before All Saints Day was originally called All Hallows’ Eve and later was shortened to Halloween.
Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve as it was originally called, began as a way to ward off spirits who were believed to return from the dead for this one night. Many Halloween traditions, such as carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns can be traced back to these ancient festivals.
European immigrants, especially those from Ireland, brought their traditions to the New World and over time Halloween evolved into the modern child-friendly holiday that is celebrated in the United States and Canada.
In the United States, Ireland, and Canada, the holiday is celebrated by wearing costumes, and having parties. Children trick-or-treat door to door for candy and small prizes. People decorate their porches jack-o-lanterns that are lit with candles.
In more recent years Halloween has become popular in other countries, such as Australia. It is celebrated by wearing costumes and having parties similar to those in the United States.
Mexico and other Latin American countries celebrate Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, on November 2. On October 31, they honor deceased relatives by wearing costumes and constructing altars with small carvings and gifts for their dead loved ones.