Op-Ed: Halloween’s Celtic roots are a lot spookier than witches and candy bars
Halloween is a time many remember better if they also visit a Celtic pagan or Celtic-themed pub with a roaring fire and a good Celtic beer. It’s a festival that’s been around since the beginning and has been a cornerstone of the Irish, Scottish and Welsh traditions.
It was likely a real-life Celtic pub or pub-mansion once used throughout the islands of the world, according to historians. The earliest records of the festival date back as far as the 14th century and was most likely a public house where people could meet and stay up late and chat in the night.
It wasn’t until the middle of the 18th century that it became an actual day, as Ireland first observed the holiday on a date that was more often associated with the end of the week.
Halloween was meant to be about celebration, not fear. It was meant to be about fun, not dread.
Hallowe’en started out a way for people to enjoy themselves and get out and express themselves, but eventually the holiday took on a morbid tone due to fear of being scared by the spirits of dead loved ones — or dead bodies.
It got so bad that in the late 1700s, people started wearing costumes, giving up their real lives in exchange for a month of partying, drinking, spooking and being part of the festivities.
The tradition has been carried across the globe, as people have come to celebrate their own fears and fantasies, all because of the holiday.
The celebration of Halloween has spread from the U.S. — where you can still head to a haunted house or haunted attraction that is based on a story or movie or book — to Europe, where the holiday is celebrated with special events and festivals, and to Australia, which is well known for a large number of traditional Halloween parties where revelers take to the streets, dress up in costumes and make their own scary appearances.
Since the first holiday in the U.S. is celebrated on October 31 each year, the holiday dates back to the Celtic pagan era of the 5th century BCE.
But it wasn’t until the middle of the 18th century, when the holiday really became a thing that the celebration of Halloween was pushed up to November 1 (which is, ironically, also the day after Halloween) and then