Looking for something to do on Halloween? There are tons of events for little and big kids this year in Los Angeles. (Check listings/links at the end of the article)
Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic culture about 2,000 years ago. This area of the Celts is now known as Ireland, England and northern France. The indigenous people of the region celebrated their New Year on November 1st, marking the end of the warmer season and the onset of winter. The rituals included lighting bond fires and the wearing of costumes to scare off ghosts. This beginning of the cold season, especially in those northern countries, was often associated with human death; the end of life on this plane.
The superstitious people believed that the day before the New Year the world of the living and the world of the dead became blurred. So on the night before, October 31st, they celebrated Samhain, a festival when the ghosts of the dead were supposed to return to earth, honoring them with sacrifices of animals and the burning of crops.
By the middle of the 19th century celebrations of harvest and autumn festivities were common, yet not known as Halloween. However, in the second half of the 19th century, America was flooded with new immigrants, which helped to spread the Halloween festivities quickly. An American style of celebration emerged; telling stories, going from house to house asking for food or money, (today’s trick-or-treat) and wearing costumes to scare off the ghosts.
By the 1930’s Halloween had become a holiday that centered on family and friends, parties and food. Today, the tradition of dressing up children, trick-or-treating, and the telling of scary stories has continued. Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition for grown-ups and children alike.
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