Happy Halloween!

A Halloween basket.

Source: Osaba

A Halloween basket.

Caroline Kerns, Staff Writer

Halloween may seem like a silly holiday for free candy and dress up, but that’s not where it began. Hallow’s Eve originally was a day designed to fend off unwanted spirits of the undead.  

It originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people of all ages, economic statuses, and genders, lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off unwanted spirits. Pope Gregory III designated November 1 to honor saints and other religious leaders. “This day was called All Saints Day, and many still celebrate it. The evening before this Christian holiday was known as Hallows Eve, a day where demons, spirits and ghosts came to earth to kill humans and destroy worlds,” says USA Today.

Although it’s scary, Halloween can still be entertaining for all. “I like Halloween because you get free candy!” says Evelyn Marshall, a seventh grade student at McAuliffe Middle School.

Part of the excitement of Halloween is the events, especially here at McAuliffe. Events such as the mummy wrap, the school dance and costume contests are seen only in October to celebrate Halloween!

Halloween, today, is thought of as more of a playful holiday instead of what it used to be. Traditionally, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France celebrated a new harvest year on November 1. The day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. In the middle of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.

A recent survey of roughly 150 McAuliffe seventh graders shows that 40% say their favorite part of Halloween is the candy over hanging out with friends or dressing up. Additionally, 35% of those surveyed say they went to Knotts Scary Farm. Even though Halloween is known for its scary origins and haunting ghosts, it is a lively holiday for all ages!