Grit Nation - The Building Trades Podcast

A Frighteningly Brief History of Halloween

October 25, 2021 Season 3 Episode 4
Grit Nation - The Building Trades Podcast
A Frighteningly Brief History of Halloween
Show Notes Transcript

Halloween is a tradition that started around 2000 years ago with the Celtic people who lived in an area that is now known as Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France.

These ancient Celts would hold a yearly festival called a Samhain to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of the cold and dark winter months, a time of year they associated with human death. 

During this annual autumn festival, the Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes made of animal heads and skins in the hopes of warding off ghosts and spirits, 

which they believed returned to earth to damage their crops, wreak havoc amongst the living and generally be a pain in the rear. 

Sometime around 43 A.D., the ever-expanding Roman Empire had conquered much of this Keltic territory. 

During the 400 years more of less of their rule, a few festivals of Roman origin were eventually combined with the traditional Samhain celebration. 

Inl 1000 A.D., a Pope declared November 1 the official day to honor the dead. 

All Souls Day as it was known, is now believed to be the churches attempt to replace the Celtic festival with a church-sanctioned holiday.

That said, All Souls’ Day was celebrated pretty much like the ancient holiday was, with big bonfires, parades and folks dressed up in all sorts of costumes like saints, angels and oh yeah devils

All Souls Day was also known as All-hallows. The night before, was known as All-Hallows Eve, which as you probably have guessed by now became Halloween.

In the U.S during the late 1800s, there was a move to make Halloween into a holiday that focused more on community and neighborly get-togethers than on ghosts, pranks and witchcraft

Parents were encouraged by community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Dang.

Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones. No more animal sacrifices in other words.

At the turn of the 20th century, Halloween parties for both kids and adults became the most common way to celebrate evening. 

Which brings us to now where Halloween is a month-long celebration of pumpkin patches, corn mazes, scream parks, scary movies, costume parties and more all culminating in a night of parentally supervised trick-or-treating.

It’s estimated that Americans spend around $6 billion dollars annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Join Grit NW Nation here:
(could this be any easier?)
https://forms.gle/WEKcA76y3Wegmv8z7
For comments, questions or suggestions about the show send an  email to:
[email protected]

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Union Home Plus
Union Home Plus helps union members save money when they buy, sell, or finance their home.

NW Carpenters Union
United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Regional Council in the Pacific NW 6 states + 29k members strong!!

The Grit Nation
Join The Nation and spread the word on how unions are building lives and careers to be proud of.

Joe Cadwell:

Another something completely different now for something completely different is right. I figured I'd take a different turn this episode as we slide in the fall, comment on the amazing creativity of many of my neighbors regarding all things Halloween. Over the last few weeks as my wife and I do our evening walks through the neighborhood, we began to notice all types of creepy festive decorations adorning our neighbor's houses. Their skeletons blowing their way to the surface raised bed gardens, matting from tree limbs and giant spiders crawling down enormous webs which span across entire yards. Many homes are festooned with inflatable creatures of all sorts, ghost goblins, Frankenstein esque monsters. There's even an enormous bulging eye Tyrone asaurus Rex emerging out of a pumpkin who still can't seem to figure that one out. Despite all the festivity going on, we tend to keep things pretty low key you'll Castle the Capitol, full of bite size candy bars at the ready for trick or treaters about a spirited, pun intended as we get. Besides, we've been wearing masks all year round. So what's the big deal? So I surprised myself when I decided to do some research on this holiday that honestly, I typically ignore. Here, my friends is what I found. Halloween is a tradition that started around 2000 years ago with a Celtic people who lived in the area that is now known as Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France. These ancient Celts would hold a yearly festival called a Selwyn to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of the cold and dark winter months, a time of year they associated with human death. During this annual Autumn Festival, the Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes made of animal heads and skins in the hopes of warding off ghosts and spirit, who they believe returned to Earth the damage their crops wreak havoc amongst the living and generally be a pain in the rear. Sometime around 43 AD, the ever expanding Roman Empire had conquered much of the Celtic territory during the 400 years or less of their rule. A few festivals of Roman origin were eventually combined with a traditional so in celebration that seemed to go pretty well for everyone involved. Wasn't until 1000 ad at a pope named Gregory the third declared November 1 The official day to honor the dead. All Souls Day, as it was known is now believed to be the church's attempt to replace the Celtic festival with a church sanction holiday. That said, All Souls Day was celebrated pretty much like the ancient holiday was with big bonfires, parades and folks dressed up in all sorts of costumes like St. Angels, and oh yeah devils. All Souls Day was known as All Hallows the night before was known as All Hallows Eve, which as you probably guessed by now became Halloween. In the US during the late 1800s, there was a move to make Halloween into a holiday that focus more on community and neighborly get togethers that ghost pranks and witchcraft. Parents were encouraged by community leaders to take anything frightening or grotesque out of the Halloween celebrations. Bang. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones. No more animal sacrifices were needed. In other words, at the turn of the 20th century, Halloween parties for both kids and adults became the most common way to celebrate the evening. Carve a few pumpkins, Bob for some apples have some good food, pretty wholesome stuff for sure. Which brings us to now where Halloween is a month long celebration of pumpkin patches, corn mazes, scream parks, scary movies, costume parties, and more all culminating in a night of parentally supervised trick or treating. It's estimated that American spend around $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday after Christmas. So there it is my take on All Hallows Eve, regardless of how you care to celebrate it or not. I hope you have a great October 31 And now before I go, I want to leave you with a short Halloween poem. On this night of spooks and gnomes, of swooning leaves and cringing crowns, of Legends told from ear to ear of shrieking cats that grid and air over the hills and pass the tree, a haunted house they're said to be with children miss to pierce your soul. Whispering winds to keep you called. Heed the whispers straight from hell to keep you safe from witchy spells, or through this night of devilish play of tread