The origins of Halloween came from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. When the Romans conquered the Celts, they combined the Celtic festival of Samhain with the Roman festival Feralia, a festival which was held in October to commemorate the passing of the dead.
All Saints’ Day was established in the 7th century, it was originally May 13th but was moved to November 1st in the 8th century. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy or hallowed eve, thus Halloween.
It was immigrants from Scotland and Ireland who took the holiday to the United States, however even though its origins are British the commercialisation of Halloween in America took off long before it did in here. Beginning in the 1900s postcards and die-cut paper decorations were produced. Halloween costumes started to appear in the 1930s and the custom of 'trick-or-treat' started in the 1950s.
The Americans go big when it comes to Halloween. There is even a Halloween capital. Anoka in Minnesota has dubbed itself the “Halloween Capital of the World”. They were one of the first cities to put on a celebration, hoping to discourage children from going out Trick or Treating.
When I was younger, we didn’t make much of Halloween, it came and went, we acknowledged it rather than celebrated it but over the years the celebrations have grown. We have followed America’s lead and now we see decorated houses, parties and costumes. I’m all in favour of this, we don’t celebrate enough in this country and that’s a shame. Everyone enjoys a celebration.
We are going big this year at Canterbury House, we are inviting local children along to join in the fun, keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is kind to us.
We have been busy making decorations and planning activities for the children to take part in. We have had a great time. Do you remember that feeling when a teacher would hang a piece of your work on the wall? Well, I don’t think you ever grow out of that. It gives us a real sense of pride seeing our decorations around the home, they look great, even if we do say so ourselves.