Just when did Halloween come to the United States?  It actually came over with the settlers and their own English traditions.

Halloween was originally called “All Hallow’s Eve” or the night before All Saint’s Day, November 1.  It was mostly celebrated in southern states like Maryland and Virginia because the northern states were Puritans and did not believe in celebrating the dead.  People would gather and tell stories about the dead, they would tell fortunes, but most of all they would celebrate the harvest coming in.

Halloween did not become popular in the northern states until the second half of the 19th century when more Irish immigrants came to our country.  Americans combined Irish and English traditions together to form their own and this is where dressing up on Halloween came from.  They also began to go door-to-door at this time.  During the 1800s, both children and adults began to celebrate the holiday with parties filled with games and treats.  When community leaders advised parents to take the “scary” parts out of Halloween, that’s when it lost its focus on witchcraft and the such and became a more watered down version of what Halloween had started as.  Next the community suggested offering treats to the children to keep them from playing tricks on the neighbors.  Now children expect to go door-to-door for their treats and really don’t even think about doing tricks any longer.

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