Halloween dates back to the 8th century when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts during the Celtic festival of Samhain. Celebrated on October 31st, the festival recognized the end of the summer and harvest and the beginning of dark, cold nights. Ghosts of the dead were believed to return on that night and the boundary of the worlds of the living and dead blurred. Somewhere along the line, going door to door looking for candy became involved.
Primarily an American celebration, but also still celebrated in Ireland, Halloween is also one of my family’s favorite holidays. I remember my mom sewing costumes for me and my sister when we were little and my dad still carves intricate designs into pumpkins to display for trick-or-treaters.
I can’t quite remember when I stopped dressing in costume and going door to door filling my Halloween bucket with candy. But when I did, I remember having just as much fun opening the door to kids in costume and handing out the candy. I have to admit I loved dressing my kids in costume when they were little and marching with them down Maine Street in our town’s Halloween parade before going trick-or-treating.
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