The Origin of Halloween


Isabella Hansen

This Monday, October 31st, is Halloween! Halloween has always been an exciting day where you can trick or treat, dress up, go to parties, and much more. Every year this spooky holiday occurs on October 31st and always in autumn, the transition season between summer and winter. This holiday has the perfect season to celebrate in the month leading up to it. Many people go to haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and lots more. One of the most popular Halloween activities is carving pumpkins. Despite Halloween being such a fun holiday, many people don’t know where these traditions, or even where Halloween, originated.

Traditions like carving pumpkins are hundreds of years old, originating in various countries such as Ireland, England, and Scotland. Some believe that when the Irish immigrated to America, they brought the tradition of carving faces into fruit to scare spirits away. When the Irish discovered pumpkins, they started to use them for carving, and eventually, the Americans began to carve them as well. Several folk tales include Jack-O-Lanterns, such as the Headless Horseman and Stingy Jack. These tales have been told for centuries and have become well-known stories to tell during the Halloween season.

Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival Samhain. During the time the festival was held, the Celtics believed that the ghosts of the dead would come to Earth. This night marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. Druids (Celtic priests) would build a bonfire where people would sacrifice their crops and farm animals for the Celtic deities (Celtic gods/goddesses). The Celtics would dress up in animal skins and heads while attempting to tell each others’ fortunes.

All Saints’ Day, which occurs every year on November 1st, is the day the Christian church celebrates all of the declared saints who have died and passed to heaven. The Christian beliefs spread to Celtic lands by the 9th century, where it was blended into and eventually replaced some Celtic religions. Then in 1000 A.D., November 2nd was made to be All Souls’ Day, which some believe to be a replacement for the Celtics festival Samhain. All Saints Day eventually was called Hallowmas or All Hallows’ Day, and the Celtics’ original day, Samhain, was called All Hallows’ Eve and eventually Halloween.

Celebrated occasions like Halloween have histories that many people don’t know. Instead of knowing the intricate religious beliefs behind Halloween, some people think of it as a holiday made for children. So for Halloween this year, be sure to honor the history that led to the creation of this holiday and what it represents for many people around the world.



Bachelor, Blane. “The History of American Jack-o’-Lanterns.” Travel, National Geographic, 3 May 2021,,Ireland%2C%20England%2C%20and%20Scotland. Editors. “Halloween 2022.”, A&E Television Networks, 18 Nov. 2009,
“How Did the Pumpkin Become a Symbol of Halloween? – Free Logo Design.” FreeLogoDesign, 22 Oct. 2019,