This festival that has grown over time actually started around 2000 years ago and was known as the Celtic festival of Samhain and meant to be the time of celebrating the harvest where colorful costumes which were usually made from animal heads and furs and were worn so that children were taught not to be afraid of the dark by building large bonfires. It was Pope Gregory 111 that designated the date of November 1st to be the official date, but the night before was known as the “all hallows eve” which over time evolved into Halloween.
The wintertime was also known for the time of deaths as when the weak often died during the cold winters. Thus, the celebration became the gateway between the living and the dead. In Mexico today the dead are honored and celebrated during this evolved tradition there, much like the ancient Romans did to honor the dead.
The Irish tradition of knock a dolly, where kids would knock on doors and quickly hide before the owner came to the door evolved into the trick or treat tradition known in America.
Party time with elaborate clothes for adults is one of the latest trends as well as buying tons of candy for everyone, but even on a more recent note is the dressing up of pets with special costumes being the latest trend.