History of Halloween


Photo provided by: Ms. Torres

Ms. Torres celebrating Halloween with Minnie Mouse in 1999.

Elizabeth Martinez, Staff Writer

While Halloween is upon us, many do not know the significance of the fun day.

The question is: How did Halloween come to be? According to History.com, “Halloween originated from an ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain. The tradition was known as Hallows Eve, where every town would gather to light bonfires while wearing scary costumes with the goal of warding off evil spirits.”

Around the 18th century, America began to borrow European traditions when people dressed in costumes went door to door asking for money or food. This tradition eventually became Trick or Treating.

In modern times, Halloween day is most commonly celebrated by making memories with family or friends while splurging on whatever candy each neighbor has to offer.

Ms. Torres describes Halloween, saying, “I think it is all about tradition. A time to step out of your comfort zone while having fun. As the youngest sibling, I was always so excited to celebrate the holiday with my three older brothers, even though my parents might have forced them to.”

Ms. Torres celebrating Halloween with Minnie Mouse in 1999. Photo provided by Ms. Torres

Serena Park ’21 also shared her opinion when she said, “I feel like Halloween is a fun holiday to spend with friends or family. Whether the night includes watching scary movies or going trick or treating. With Covid 19 among us, this is a great excuse to have fun and celebrate!”

Caroline Linton ’21 (left) and Serena Park ’21 (right) dressed up as Hogwarts students for Halloween. Photo provided by Serena Park

Although many students and teachers would agree with Ms. Torres and Serena’s thoughts, Ms. Barlcay has a contrasting opinion. She states, “Hear me out. I love Halloween candy, but the pressure and anxiety that comes from finding a costume is exhausting. When I was in grade school, we had to show off our costumes in our school parade. I dressed up as Latina Cinderella but little did I know that the white blonde girl in my class was wearing the exact same costume as me. At the end of the parade, there was a prize for the best costume, and can you guess who won? Not me, but the blonde girl. The girl wearing MY costume won. As much as I wanted to walk up with her on stage to accept the prize I couldn’t. Even though I took some of her candy from her prize basket, the situation was still very upsetting. After that parade, Halloween was dead to me. To this day I dread the thought of getting a Halloween costume.”

All in all, Halloween is the one night a year filled with spooky situations, good or bad. As this holiday began as a Celtic tradition filled with bonfires and ghost hunting, nowadays Halloween has definitely changed. Especially adjusting plans to conform to the pandemic, everyone is trying to have fun, but in the safest way possible.