The History of Halloween
The tradition of Halloween began way back in the fifth century BC by the Irish Celts, who organised their year according to the agricultural calendar and marked the transition from one year to the next on October 31.
The story goes that during the transistion spirits would return to earth, looking for living bodies to possess for the following year. The Celts would then dress up in ghoulish costumes and parade around the community to frighten them away.
Years later, the tradition of trick-or-treating is thought to have grown from a ninth century European custom, souling, when early Christians would make house calls begging for soul cakes. It was thought that even strangers could help a soul’s passage to heaven by saying prayers, so, in exchange for a cake they promised to pray for the donors’ deceased relatives.