This holiday has Celtic origins, dating back 2,000 years ago, where festivals in Europe marked the end of summer and harvest, signaling the start of a long winter. The tradition spread in the early days of the Roman Empire, which claimed the original festivals and spread them across the continent. Then, in 609 A.D., Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of Christian martyrs. Later, Pope Gregory III expanded the festival to include all saints – hence, All Saints Day.
The holiday became an annual rite in America in the 19th century, where new arrivals brought old-world traditions, including trick or treat. By the turn of the century, the holiday became more about community and neighborly get-togethers, as well as pranks, candy and spooky costumes, setting the stage for how we celebrate today.
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