Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and scarcity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition.

This holiday is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, this holiday was celebrated on November 1, and was called All Saint’s Day, which had incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallow’s Eve and then later became Halloween. 

Evolving from the Celtic holiday of Samhain, Halloween has become less about literal ghosts and ghouls and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead. Over the centuries this holiday has transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, and candy for children and adults alike.

Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.



Bet you didn’t know this:  http://www.history.com/topics/halloween