In keeping with Quatr.us’s anti-racist, decolonizing work, we present Halloween as originally a Native American holiday, now overlaid with the contributions of immigrants from all over the world.
The history of Halloween
We can trace Halloween back to Mayan and Aztec Day of the Dead ceremonies in August. In the 1500s, Spanish missionaries convinced Native Americans to move this holiday to the end of October, to match up with Christian ideas. But it remained an event about death and rebirth.
Then in the 1900s, trick-or-treating, which had been a Christmas thing, got pushed back first to Thanksgiving and then to Halloween.
Mayan gods and rituals
The Three Sisters
History of Christmas
History of Thanksgiving
My own grandmother thought of Halloween trick-or-treating as a recent (and bad) idea. But Halloween remains a celebration of the harvest of American crops – pumpkins and corn. And it’s still about death and rebirth.
This is not true……Can’t we tell the truth about Native Americans …? Halloween is NOT a Native American holiday at all. It comes from the Christian holiday of All Hallows Eve. The Mayan and Axtecs did not celebrate Halloween, …
It is all true, though I realize it is probably different from what you may have learned in the past. That’s the point of being an anti-racist site – I try to look at things differently from what people have said in the past, and rethink them in a more inclusive way that decenters whiteness. Of course you are free to use the site or not, as you like.
(I edited your comment to make it kind enough to suit our standards; as our policy says, we don’t post unkind comments.)