Halloween is around the corner and no other holiday makes people quite as inclined for treats. That makes this time of year a great time to stock up your vending machines with delicious snacks for your guests and employees. But did you know that Halloween has ancient traditions? And did you know that Halloween has always been about treats? Here is a brief history of the spookiest season of the year.
The history of Halloween is long and very complicated. Many believe it began in the British Isles. The ancient Celts celebrated a holiday called Samhain. This was a celebration of the end of their year and the start of the dark winter months. The Celts believed that the border between the living and the dead thinned during this time and that ghosts and spirits would visit from the other side. To scare off these spirits, people would dress up in costumes and burn bonfires. They would then relight the hearth fires in their homes with flames from the bonfire to bring protection for the coming winter. Some believed that spirits of dead family members visited their homes during this time. So, people would set out food and treats to make these spirits welcome.
This Pagan tradition slowly merged with Christian practices. Finding it easier to convert people by allowing them to maintain their traditions, Christian missionaries helped shaped Halloween.
Now, Halloween is mainly an American tradition that has evolved from these ancient festivals. Irish immigrants brought the holiday to popularity as they came to America. They brought their traditions and others seeing it as a fun way to spend time also took up celebrating Halloween. The holiday then changed, faded, resurged, and evolved over many years to become what we know it as today. Costumes to scare off spirits became costumes for children and treats to appease ghosts were instead given to children who sometimes threatened to play a trick if not given their treat.
Snacks have always had a place in Halloween tradition. As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer and winter sets in, snacks offer a bit of comfort. So, stick with tradition and make sure your vending machines are well stocked.
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