There is certainly no shortage of Fall holidays in the United States. For this article, we will focus on the history of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Fall is a magical time of year, and these two holidays never fail to bring friends and family together to celebrate and simply enjoy one another.
Let’s jump right in and explore the origins of these wonderful holidays.
Halloween – October 31
Kids and adults both adore Halloween. For kids, it’s a time for spooky costumes, pumpkin carving, friends, and collecting enough candy to last well past the New Year. For adults, it’s a time to remember our inner child and eat and drink anything pumpkin spice flavored. This year, why not set some time aside between the costume parties and candy grabs to take a look at the history of this spooktacular holiday?
Halloween’s earliest origins date back to Samhain—an ancient Celtic pagan religious festival celebrated thousands of years ago from October 31 to their New Year on November 1. Samhain marked summer’s end, the harvest, and the beginning of the dark and cold winter months. On the night of October 31, the Celts believed a portal between the living and the dead opened, and the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. To keep these ghosts at bay, the people wore costumes and lit huge bonfires.
When Christianity spread to Celtic lands in the 9th century, the church declared November 2 All Souls’ Day. This holiday honored the dead with parades, bonfires, and dressing up as angels, devils, and saints.
Immigrants brought Halloween to America in the 19th century, where it quickly gained popularity. Many of the same traditions from Samhain remain, such as wearing costumes to chase away otherworldly ghosts. Of course, today, our costumes have evolved to include everything from celebrities to superheroes.
Halloween has come a long way from the days of the Celts. The best example is trick-or-treating, which is great fun for both sides of the candy transaction. This year, make sure to stock up on enough tasty treats to avoid any tricks! Happy Halloween!
Thanksgiving – Fourth Thursday of November
One can trace the history of Thanksgiving all the way back to 1621, when the Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn feast with colonists from England. These colonists left England on a ship named Mayflower to find a new home to practice their faith freely. After a grueling journey across the Atlantic Ocean, they settled near the Massachusetts Bay at Plymouth. Soon they met Native Americans who taught them how to grow corn, fish, avoid poisonous plants, and much more.
After the Pilgrims successfully harvested corn for the first time in November of 1621, Governor William Bradford organized what would become known as America’s first Thanksgiving. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to celebrate on the final Thursday in November, just as we celebrate it today. Happy Thanksgiving!
Any holiday is an excellent opportunity to send your loved ones a greeting card. Browse our entire selection to find the perfect card for your needs!