How Did Halloween Become Such A Big Thing?

Why are we now spending billions of pounds celebrating this spooky day?

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Halloween.

The time of year where we clear the shelves of white face paint, rip up bed sheets and add a bit of fake blood to our clothes in order to pass off as some sort of dishevelled zombie.

Whether you're going all out with a 'melted face' that took 6 hours to create or being that girl who lazily added a pair of cat ears to her skinny jeans and shirt, it's become nigh on impossible to escape Halloween festivities.

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I smell children.. #hocuspocus

A photo posted by Hocus Pocus (@hocuspocusmovie) on

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A recent study by the National Retail Federation announced that consumer spending on the festivity will reach $8.4 billion, which is up from $3.3 billion in 2005.

But do we really know what we are celebrating or has Halloween just become another capitalist ploy?

I for one have never been in to halloween.

As a child I was never allowed to go out trick or treating and experienced my first Halloween party at the age of 16 - I wore a ripped up bin bag with neon striped tights, backcombed my hair and spray painted it green...there was nothing scary about me at all.

It's all very well that we are allowed the one day of the year to unleash our creativity and darker selves, but why exactly do we do this?

Whilst some people argue that Halloween is an Americanised festival that we have adopted, it actually originated in the Celtic fringes of Britain, and was adapted by Christian and Pagan practices.

Under the Pagan tradition of Samhain, 'Summer's End', Gaels believed that the end of the harvest season opened a portal between the living and the dead, and that the change of the season was caused by ghosts and ghouls damaging the crops.

Many dressed up as souls of the dead in order to protect themselves and believed that if any ghosts crossed over to living form, they would be safe from harm as they blended in.

The Christian origin on the other hand was a celebration of the feast of All Hallows, which started in the eighth century to attempt to stamp out pagan celebrations.

Christians would honour saints and pray for souls who had not yet reached heaven.

Children would knock on doors and ask for 'soul cakes' in exchange for praying for the souls of relatives, and so trick or treating was born.

Ok, so I understand the history of Halloween now but I still don't get why everyone's making such a big deal about it while wearing goth make-up.

I mean, it's basically like The Purge, but without the hall pass to commit horrific crimes.

// 23 days left! 🎃 // How many of you like Halloween more than Christmas? // #halloween #pumpkins #fall

A photo posted by Halloween (@halloweencountdown) on

Maybe I'm missing out on the fun or maybe I'm the voice of reason among the field of sexy cats and zip-faced thousands that can't see the weirdness of the whole thing because of their all white contact lenses.

So no, I won't be dressing up for any parties or giving out any sweets this Halloween.

Bah humbug!

Oh wait, wrong holiday!

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