The night of Halloween is one of the most anticipated of the year by children and the not-so-young. It is celebrated in homes, restaurants, bars, and discos, and it is a way of remembering and honoring the dead. Despite most people thinking that it is an American holiday, its name comes from the English phrase ” All Hallows ‘Eve, “a celebration closely linked to the Irish Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian celebration of All Saints Day, which takes place on November 1.
The Celtic festival celebrated the end of summer and the arrival of autumn’s shorter and colder days. The Celts celebrated the harvest season by disguising themselves in animal skins to ward off evil spirits. In addition, they lit bonfires with the same objective.
They ate a dish called colcannon, with mashed potatoes, kale, and onion; in addition to the barmbrack, a kind of bread cake with a surprise inside or apple cakes. Thanks to Irish catholic families that emigrated to the United States during the potato famine (1845–1852), the festival and customs arrived in the United States. Then the cinema, advertising, and marketing did the rest, getting the Halloween party celebrated in almost all parts of the world.
The Celts were very superstitious and believed that the dead returned on the night of Samhain and the ‘lord of death’ asked them for food in payment for returning from the darkness. To avoid enraging these spirits, the Celts left sweets and food outside their houses and dressed in devilish-shaped masks to scare them away. Hence, children now go house to house on Halloween night collecting candy.