What is the history of Halloween?

By Andrew Pankratz
Times-News correspondent

    The Halloween holiday was first recognized by the Celts.
Gourds, containing a lit candle, were placed outside each house. The goal was to scare away a spirit named Jack, who supposedly was denied entrance to both heaven and hell. The devil, according to legend, threw a live coal from hell at Jack, who placed the glowing ember in a gourd so that he would be able to see as he wandered about seeking rest.
   When the Roman Catholic Church came to power in the British Isles, they “Christianized” the holiday by calling the day “All Hallows Eve.”
The holiday soon spread far and wide throughout the region swayed by the Roman Catholic Church. In the middle ages, “All Hallows Eve” was a popular day to punish dissenters from the Roman Catholic Church.
The Irish potato famine in the 1840s forced thousands of Roman Catholic Irish to migrate to the U.S. These immigrants brought Halloween with them. Though at first confined to immigrant communities, Halloween was widely celebrated in America by the early 20th century.
The holiday continues to this day, though with slight alterations. One difference is the “Trunk or Treats” many churches offer. Another is haunted houses, which became popular in America in the 1950s.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

Andrew Pankratz is a home-schooled sophomore and a Teens & 20s writer.

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