According to History.com, the celebration can be linked back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, where dressing up and lighting bonfires were thought to warn of unwanted spirits.
When all saints day (Nov 1st) was developed, some of the same traditions from this festival were incorporated, the night before this became known as All Hallows Eve and now referred to as Halloween.
Over time, Halloween has developed to what we know it as now, a celebration where people dress up and children wander the neighbourhood looking for candy, but is it still relevant?
A Christian group has recently made headlines by developing what is called “Jesus ween” where participants hand out bibles and dress in white to represent righteousness. In a quote provided by Huffington Post, The creator of the event Pastor Paul Ade told Gawker:
“Halloween is not consistent with the Christian faith. Many people say they feel uncomfortable on that day. We think people should choose an alternative activity.”
The holiday has also caused much debate in other countries, such as my own (New Zealand), where some people have decided not to follow the overseas holiday and feel they should not have to comply with the Americanised celebration.
According to one NZ poll, 1/3 of respondents expected trick-or-treaters but only 20% were planning to decorate their houses.
There is also been discussion suggesting that the Mexican celebration of Dia de Los Muertos celebrated on the 2nd of November is losing its individuality by being pulled into Halloween.
Regardless of whether you support Halloween or not, the candy-centred holiday does not appear to be disappearing fast. Time to start carving some pumpkins and stocking up on those sweet treats.