In celebration of this year’s Halloween, the National Women’s History Museum has released A History of Halloween, a short video that explores the ancient origins of the holiday as well as the early practices by American women at the turn of the 20th century.
Halloween is a whimsical, annual celebration with ghosts, goblins, candy and fun for all! Each year, the festivities of October 31 brings with it that familiar sight of freshly carved Jack-o-lanterns whose lights flicker in a bright orange, children dressed in homemade costumes begging for candy, and fun parties for the whole family. But how did Halloween make its way to the United States? And how did our foremothers and their families practice it?
To find the answer, A History of Halloweenjourneys back 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic shores where the holiday made its birth for the celebration of Samhain, the celtic new year. The video also explores the ways that women celebrated Halloween in America in the early 1900s. Popular practices during this era included mirror games, where a girl would recite a poem while holding a mirror on Halloween night and see the face of her future husband in the reflection.
A number of other interesting and delightful Halloween practices of old are explored, including decorating and trick-or-treating. The video will help enlighten the public on the diverse Halloween traditions that women have kept alive and handed down to us. To view, go to http://www.nwhm.org/about-nwhm/press/featured-press/halloween.