What even is Halloween?

As Halloween week is upon us many of us students are celebrating with fun costumes and loads of candy. However, what is behind this holiday? And why do we celebrate it in the first place?

More than 2,000 years ago, Halloween began as a tradition by the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain in which people would light campfires and wear costumes to protect themselves from ghosts.

Known as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, Halloween was a day where the souls of the deceased returned to their homes. Homeowners dressed in scary costumes to ward off the evil spirits or demons. 

Some fun facts about Halloween:

  • Ireland used to use turnips the way we now use pumpkins. 
  • Based on a legend about a person named Stingy Jack who supposedly trapped the Devil and only let him go if Jack would never go to Hell. 
  • As for the tricks and the treats, treats became the norm in the 1940s as a more friendly gesture, one that is mindful for all ages. Trickery, however, may have been a tale as old as time as the one time a year pranks and tomfoolery run rampid. 

Nowadays, Halloween is a time for jack-o’-lanterns, candy and dressing up. Interestingly enough, all of these activities have one thing in common: spending large sums of money. Whether you are a kid who grew up dressing up and going trick or treating — or now an adult who goes to extravagant Halloween bashes — it is no doubt that the culture in the U.S. collectively spends millions on this holiday.

According to The National Retail Federation’s annual Halloween Consumer survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, total Halloween spending in 2022 is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion. Last year’s record was $10.1 billion.

We as broke college students should ask ourselves, is Halloween worth spending a few hundred on? After all, most of us will get only one use out of our costume of choice. Not to mention how this “holiday” lines the pockets of candy corporations. Decorating not only your house, but also your yard and funding work parties if that is something in your future.

Whatever your reasoning is for celebrating any holiday is, we as students should understand and research the origins of that holiday. Educating ourselves and considering why we celebrate the holidays should be something we analyze every year. Most of the time, holidays may largely benefit candy and costume companies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.