Do you know the history of Halloween?


Audrey Mooney

Some of the symbols for Halloween are the black cat and the pumpkin

When you think of Halloween, you usually think of trick-or-treating and costumes. Normally that’s what I would think of too, but do you know the history of Halloween? It all started when people were having the Celtic festival of Samhain, a festival where you dance around a bonfire wearing costumes to ward off ghosts.  Then in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III decided there would be a day to honor all the saints, and they would celebrate this day on November 1.   

This year, due to COVID- 19, some people will not be going trick-or-treating.  This year Conway Borough, Freedom Borough, and  New Sewickley Township all have their trick or treat on Thursday, October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Did I mention the history of the jack-o’- lantern?  There was once a person named Stingy Jack.  He kept tricking the devil into leaving him alone. First, he turned the Devil into a coin, and then the second time he made him climb a tree.  Jack eventually died and God would not take him into heaven.  The Devil was still angry with Jack and would not let Jack into Hell.  The Devil sent him into the woods with a burning coal lamp.  You never know, maybe you will see Jack when you walk in the woods.  

There are lots of symbols for Halloween like the pumpkin, bat, and black cat.  The black cat is a symbol of Halloween because the cats were associated with witchcraft and bad luck.  In the olden days in Europe, people thought that black cats were familiars (supernatural individuals who would assist a witch or other cunning people) of witches or maybe shape-shifting witches themselves.  

Bats also have something to do with witches.  It was believed that horned figures with wings were worshiped by witches.  That figure may have been bats.  

Some of these things you might have thought of with Halloween, but you didn’t know why.  Now you know!