History of Halloween

Learn more about the history of Halloween.

By Amanda Martin, Staff Writer

There are many different theories about the origin of Halloween. Here is some of the history behind this holiday:

This holiday can be traced back to the pagan festival, Samhain. November 1st marked the Irish New Year, and every October 31st, they celebrated Samhain. The festival was part of the Celtic religion in parts of Europe.

The Catholic and Episcopalian churches wanted to make Halloween a holiday and added it to the official calendar. The tradition of trick-or-treating began in 1556. In the 1600’s, Halloween was banned by the Persians of New England because this day was considered to be a Catholic holiday. People started dressing up and going door-to-door in the 1700’s.

In the 1870’s, Halloween became very popular in America and younger people started using the date to get in trouble by “tricking” people. In the early 1900’s, Halloween became a more known holiday. The first officially sanctioned Halloween celebration took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921.

This celebration is still a very well known holiday today. In 2014, 1.31 billion pounds of pumpkins were produced by six of the states.  American consumers spent $8.4 billion on Halloween costumes, candy, and decorations in 2016. The average person will spend $45 on Halloween treats and snacks.