Halloween: past, present, future?

Zak Borrelli, Writer

With October 31st right around the corner, people around FHS are starting to get into the Halloween spirit, but many of us don’t know the true story behind the holiday.

“I believe that it was first started to celebrate the harvest, or something like that” guessed FHS junior Mark Mooney.

As it turns out, Mooney is not that far off!

Halloween is thought to have originated from the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, a festival that celebrated the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.

So we know where the holiday came from, but how did it become the spooky spectacle that it is today?

These festivals would often involve large bonfires that attracted insects, which attracted a large number of bats.

These bats would appear so often and in such large numbers that they became a symbol of the festival, and are still recognized as a symbol for Halloween today.

Adding to the creepiness of the celebration, the ancient Gaels believed that on October 31st, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc by causing illness or damaging crops.

In an attempt to appease these wandering spirits, people wore masks and costumes to mimic and flatter them.

Okay so we have the symbols and the costumes, but your probably still wondering “Why the heck do we go door to door asking for candy?”

Franklin High junior, and trick or treating extraordinaire Andrew Hartnett claims that “kids decided to channel all of their desire for acquiring sweets by dressing up in costumes and going door to door”

The origins of trick or treating are actually a bit more complex, “trick or treating” actually goes all the way back to the middle ages.

The medieval practice of “souling” was when poor folk would go door to door begging for food in exchange for prayers for the dead.

These days the practice is a little more light-hearted to say the least.

In 2011, people spent 2.5 billion dollars on Halloween costumes alone, with 310 million of those dollars just being spent on costumes for pets!

Now lets get to the delicious part, the candy. The same year, the average American ate about 1.2 pounds of candy on Halloween. (That’s about the equivalent of 280 fun sized M&M’s)

Not only have modern Halloween traditions filled up our stomachs, but they have gone one to inspire horror movies such as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween.

Halloween has gone from a celebration of the harvest season, to a time of the year where gouls and goblins come out to play, but what lies in store for the future of October 31st?

“I see the future of Halloween similar to today, but with stranger costumes I can’t even begin to imagine” says Hartnett, who would go on to say that “people will probably start handing out healthy food because of all the health problems in America these days”

This writer couldn’t imagine a scarier Halloween than one filled with carrots and celery sticks instead of the classic candy bars, its bad enough that some houses fail to meet the basic requirements for sweets.

“I can’t stand the houses that would give out something like popcorn or apples back in the day” says sophomore Steve Wyman.

“Halloween should be about eating delicious treats filled with sugar, not health food” agrees junior Jared Lynch

One thing is for certain, if trick or treating becomes a thing of the past, we may have a serious problem on our hands.

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