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Illustration of an orange witch wearing a black robe, cape and hat and riding a broom over houses with an orange sky and yellow moon and black text.
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Both Halloween and witches have a long history. Currently, Halloween is celebrated on October 31st every year. However, this holiday originated over 2,000 years ago with the Celtic people. The Celts would celebrate what they called Samhain on October 31st, as they believed the two worlds (the living and the dead) became blurred on this night. In 609 A.D., Christianity evolved the holiday from a pagan Samhain to a Christian All Souls’ Day. In the latter half of 19th century America, Halloween as we know it today became more popularized with the help of Irish immigrants. This new version of the holiday shifted from being about ghosts and witches to being about friends, family, and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.
The history of witches is complex and, often, dark. Many have heard of the Salem Witch Trials from 1692. During these trials, the accused were “tried” and ultimately killed. But the history of witches dates back to the mid-1400s in Europe, when witches would confess to their “evil crimes” and were also killed. Most witches in Europe were thought to be related to the Devil. However, the classic persona of an old woman with a crooked nose and tall, black hat is a newer addition.
History.com. (2020, July 7). Halloween 2020. https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween#:~:text=T….
History.com. (2020, February 21). History of witches. https://www.history.com/topics/folklore/history-of-witches