The earliest records of Halloween come from ancient Celtic records. “Samhain” was celebrated on November 1st
and marked the Celtic New Year. This was the beginning of the “dark half” of the year, which ended May 1st
. The Celtic people also used this time to celebrate the harvest with a time of feasting. At the same time though, it was a celebration of death as well. Crops were harvested, livestock were butchered, and Winter was coming. Winter was when most human deaths happened because of cold and food shortages made people especially vulnerable. In New Year tradition, life was celebrated as well. The Celtic people believed all good things started in the darkness. It was not scary or frightening. Halloween was adopted by Catholics as All Saints Day, which is celebrated on Nov. 1st
. Dressing up became popular in France during the 14th
centuries. Many other cultures and religions vary on how they celebrate the holiday, but they all mirror the early Celtic celebrations.
To some people, Halloween might also mean the start to the Holiday Season, or the coming of the cold. The Museum has some really great upcoming programs to help you celebrate and keep warm.
Learn about how Thanksgiving would have been celebrated differently for the early residents of Arlington Heights. We will explore the traditions and how the food was prepared. Kids will also make a centerpiece that they get to take home for their celebrations. One adult must be attend this program with children.