Halloween 2015: What is Halloween and why do we celebrate it?

Did you know that its origins are not American but Scottish?

Marta Portocarrero,Olivia Blair
Saturday 31 October 2015 12:00 GMT
Comments

Today is Halloween and before you stock up on pumpkins; you need to watch this video which debunks the Americanisation of what is actually a Scottish holiday.

Watch the video below.

Halloween started off as a festival called ‘Samhain’, meaning summer’s end, and was celebrated by the Celts on November 1. It was believed that on this day, the veil between the dead and the living was at its thinnest.

Halloween grew in popularity in areas with Celtic heritage like Scotland where there was a romance attached to the many eerie stories of the holiday.

Trick-and-treating and carrying lanterns are seen as very American celebrations but they can be traced back to Scotland, specifically the poem ‘Halloween’ by Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Halloween's traces in America go back to colonial setters but it was the second half of the 19th century where celebrations became more widespread, according to history.com.

As more immigrants, particularly from Ireland and Scotland, arrived the spooky celebrations became more popular and traditions such as 'trick or treating' began.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in