Do Tech students know the origins of Halloween?

Pumpkin carved with the Tennessee Tech University initials is displayed on Jefferson Ave. Photo by Jeanne Eustache.

Halloween is coming. Costumes are bought, decorations and pumpkins are displayed and fear is spread in Cookeville. 

According to theStatistic Portal, 70 percent of the American population will celebrate Halloween this year. But do Tennessee Tech students know about Halloween’s origin? 

“I think it is relating to the witches in the U.S.,” mechanical engineering major Michael Powel said.  

Halloween comes from the Samhain. They believed dead spirits would return to Earth on Oct. 31.

Samhain’s festivities were about dancing, feasting and creating altars to honor dead people. 

“It is the Devil’s birthday, but I don’t celebrate it,” Sandra Anufo, an occupational therapy major, said. “If I go to a Halloween party it is for the people who are there, not the celebration.”

One student knew where the holiday originated.

“It comes from Europe and was brought over here,” Levi Cross, a civil engineering major, said.

Samhain is indeed a Celtic religion, considered as pagan in Ireland. People celebrated the New Year on Nov. 1, lit bonfires and dressed like ghosts. 

During the eighth century, Pope Gregory III declared Nov.1 as a day to honor all saints, called All Saints Day. 

In Catholicism, a saint is a dead person recognized by the Catholic Church for doing miracles after his/her death. In other Christian denominations, a “saint” is considered as a living believer by Christ.