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People of the 18th century knew hardly enough about science. It creates an enormous difference in beliefs between modern society and the society of the 18th century. They had much more ceremonies to hold and much more believes generally. For that reason, there were plenty of holidays some of which exist till now. One of such holidays is Halloween.


Halloween beginning

Scientists, writers, researchers, and enthusiasts suppose that the holiday has its roots from two different pagan holidays in the British Isles. One of them was a Samhain which was celebrated by our ancestry to honor the master of Death. It has nothing to do with telling real ghost stories, making creepy costumes, and having fun like we do today. It was firmly connected with harvest, and the only thing which left from this tradition in common with modern people is fire. A Celtic holiday was also a New Year. Another theory states that October 31st was a day of Pomona, a Roman goddess of fruits and-and nuts. In any case, there is an evidence of a holiday which was connected with harvest (Moss).

Christian tradition

Halloween history includes religious roots as well. Since ancient times November 1st was always an All Saint’s Day, November 2nd was another feast called All Soul’s Day. Both of them follow after the October 31st holiday named Hallowtide. All the ways of celebrations involved fire and smoke, which were symbols of revealing from evil in souls (Lynn). Later, closer to 1800, the feast acquired clarity which included burning harvest rests, playing with fire and smoke, witches, fear, mystery, and other. Together with this tradition, the rituals for various purposes were becoming more and more popular.

The birth of traditions and rituals 

Halloween was also a time for asking specific questions like the date of death, the face of a spouse, and many other. For that reason, plenty of rituals and traditions appeared. Some of them involved fruits and vegetables. For example, the taste of cabbage stem was supposed to reveal the beloved's career and features, the form of its leaves explained his or her character. future. The treats, which children received in various houses for singing soul saving songs, was supposed to feed those souls and be a sign of good luck (Moss). 

More traditions with harvest and food

One of the myths included with nuts. A couple of people who were sympathetic to each other placed two nuts into a fire next to each other and observed the behavior. It symbolized the future relationships (Lynn). History reveals more traditions with apples. Single women placed tagged apples into a bowl with water and treated men with them. The matches of apples explained the love connections. The real love was also hiding inside potatoes. A single woman hid a ring into potatoes that the only love was supposed to find it (Morgan).

The pumpkin

The Irish nation and agriculture were rich for pumpkins. There is a legend that people were doing scary phases out of pumpkins to scare the wandering souls away. In the 18th century existed a story about a drunk farmer who received permission to go to haven as well as to hell. He took a pumpkin, made holes in it and put a burning coal inside not to get lost. His soul supposed to be wondering.

The American tradition

Right after the immigration of around a million of Irelands to the USA the first signs of the holiday appeared there. The spooky story of transferring traditions from one nation to the other ended up with what we have today: a big corporate celebration with plenty of decorations, kids all over the cities, paranormal stories, fortunetelling and many other. Today it is hard to imagine women performing rituals with nuts, apples, and cabbages. People need a reason to have fun and to get to know the story more deeply.


Paul Calderon is a writer at and historical researcher. He is interested mostly in various traditions connected with religion and modern celebrations. In his works, he tries to reveal the secrets of modern holidays and dive deep into traditions. He believes that by keeping the purity of celebration the nation keeps its spirit.