Dear Amy: What is the history of Halloween? — Jacob S., Florence, Kentucky
Dear Jacob: Halloween goes back about 2,000 years. It actually began in Ireland, where the Celts celebrated their New Year on November 1, believing that spirits roamed around the night before the New Year. To protect themselves, they placed food and wine on their doorsteps to keep the spirits away. People would also leave their homes wearing masks, so they would be safe from ghosts. Hundreds of years later, October 31 became All Hallows Eve, now known as Halloween.
Immigrants brought their traditions to America in the 1800s. However, the Halloween we celebrate today is a family-oriented tradition that began in the 1950s. Trick-or-treating can be traced to England, when poor families would beg for food and receive cakes and pastries. This practice was later adopted by children who would go from house to house and be given treats.
You can view videos and learn more about the how the holiday began and is celebrated around the world at History of Halloween, history.com/topics/
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