Between last week’s full moon and Halloween creeping up this Sunday, that spooky time of the year is swooping upon us. We’re anchored to curiosity at Kind Oasis, so we jumped into the internet to further our knowledge of this festive, fall holiday.
What is Halloween? Why do we dress up? When did the candy come into play? Why the (ridiculous) horror movies? Surely, it’s more than a good time on the last Saturday night of every October.
Here’s some stuff we dug up:
- Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, comes to us from Ireland where it originated as the Celtic festival of Samhain around 1,000+ years ago. Samhain translates to ‘end of summer’, where November 1st was celebrated as the Celtic New Year.
*Yes, Van Morrison is Irish and did write the famous, ‘The Celtic New Year’ song.
- In Samhain tradition, Celts believed on the night before the new year, when the cold, dark winter would commence and death was imminent, ghosts of the dead would return to earth, so people would wear costumes and light bonfires to ward off ghosts and spirits from the other world.
- During the 19th century, as America expanded and more Europeans immigrated - especially during the Irish Potato Famine - Halloween began to popularize in America with ‘play parties’, harvest festivals, ghost stories, and dancing and singing at bonfires.
- European traditions evolved over time, and Halloween became a community-centric holiday with parties for both children and adults, parades, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, costumes, and seasonal foods in honor of the harvest.
- Halloween is considered the second largest commercial holiday (Christmas coming in at number one) and is estimated to generate about $6 billion annually.
- Pulling from the ancient history of witchcraft, ghosts, and death around Halloween, horror films became popular at this time of the year as well, dating back to the originals in the late 19th century when motion picture technology was first introduced.
- Trick-or-treating derives from the ancient tradition of ‘souling’, where people would go door to door asking for food and money during Samhain, and in exchange would offer prayers for lost loved ones. This evolved in America to anything from toys to homemade treats to coins. Mid-century, candy companies began marketing their packaged candy and this eventually became the iconic trick-or-treat gift.
If you are in the Halloween spirit this weekend, visit Kind Oasis for some Halloween-inspired tricks and treats like tarot cards, witchy candles, smudge sticks, and other festive self-care products. Best of all, save on 30% off all candles and gummies. Wear a costume and get a free trick or treat.