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Halloween: Why Do We Celebrate This?

October 30, 2022

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Halloween is the most expensive holiday after Christmas, and Desi Lydic is going to investigate this beloved holiday, from its Celtic origins to trick-or-treating to the raging parties we know today. 

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Transcript

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I'm Moracca and I'm back with season three of my podcast, Mobituaries.

I've dug up even more stories about the people and things that fascinate me.

From the fruit that once scandalized...

The shape of the banana made it taboo.

To the band that played second banana to the Beatles.

They were lucky to come in second and the truth is they only came in second for about two months.

Listen to Mobituaries on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

You're listening to Comedy Central.

And actually, Halloween is an ancient holiday with a rich and spooky history.

And by spooky, I mean...

Interesting.

It all started in ancient Ireland, where they celebrated the earliest version of Halloween, the festival of Sawan.

That's right, the Irish gave us not one but two holidays where people get wasted and have sex behind a dunk in donuts.

Hey Ireland, thank you.

They believe that on the night of October 31st, the veil between the world and the afterlife was lifted and that spirits returned for one night, like a divorced dad on your birthday.

So to win favor with the spirits, they lit bonfires and offered gifts to them.

But most importantly, they disguised themselves in costumes so the dead wouldn't recognize them.

Because trust me, no one wants to get stuck in a conversation with a ghost.

They're always like, avenge me, avenge me.

It's like, okay weirdo, I just met you.

Costumes during Sawan consisted of animal heads and skins.

Ew.

But in their defense, it was ancient times.

Those were the only costumes Party City had back then.

For thousands of years, Sawan was celebrated in Ireland by the Celtics.

Sorry, Celtics.

Until Ireland got a very special delivery on its doorstep.

Catholicism!

And the Catholics gave the festival a holy makeover, naming November 1st All Saints Day, aka All Hallows, making the night before Hallows Eve.

Eventually this evolved into Halloween.

Like many other scary things, you have the Catholic Church to thank.

After this transition, the earliest version of trick-or-treating began.

Medieval beggars would pray for people's dead relatives in exchange for food.

And that's pretty depressing.

Outsourcing your praying to the less fortunate?

How lazy are you?

Oh, my postmates with a single bottle of water is here.

Bring it in!

But there was fun trick-or-treating, too.

Kids dressed up in costumes and offered to sing or recite a poem in exchange for food, or money, or wine.

And I know what you're thinking.

Kids drinking wine?

But don't worry, it's Irish wine, so it's basically just rancid grape juice.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Halloween started getting popular around the world, especially in America, after a Halloween poem by Robert Burns became popular.

And I know it might seem weird that something became mainstream due to poetry, but if you think about it, it's the same way we all learned about Cisarp.

At the turn of the century, the influx of Irish immigrants made Halloween even bigger in the US.

And it actually started to get a little rowdy.

Kids used the day as an excuse for vandalism and general ass-holery, a tradition that continues to this day.

Oh, fucker.

I will kick your ass at soccer practice, Timmy!

It was so bad.

Some politicians wanted to cancel Halloween altogether.

Luckily, the solution was already built in.

Trick or treating.

Everyone figured out that if they gave kids treats in exchange for not acting like little dickheads, they'd be chill.

Trick or treating exploded by the 1950s, with the mass production of candy.

Although back then, candy was weird.

They had all these suggestive names, like Zagnuts and Sugar Daddies.

If you like candy, kids, you'll love Uncle Jimmy's pole smokers.

Mmm, pole.

By the 1970s, Halloween wasn't just for kids anymore.

Adults started to get into it, too.

They threw parties, they wore costumes, some sexy, and some really sexy.

Oh yeah, Dick Nick's hive, where you at?

These days, Halloween has taken on a new meaning, celebrating the macabre and having a safe space to explore our identities with our friends and family.

I'm just f***ing with ya.

It's about making as much money as possible.

It's the most expensive holiday after Christmas.

And we don't even get a PlayStation out of it.

Just some highly regrettable photos and a mouthful of cavities.

Ah, lost another one.

So now you know how Halloween got to be so spooktacular.

I hope everyone out there has a safe and fun time this year.

Enjoy it, because the next holiday is Thanksgiving, when you have to spend the whole day with your entire family.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

I'm Moraka, and I'm back with season three of my podcast, Mobituaries.

I've dug up even more stories about the people and things that fascinate me.

From the fruit that once scandalized… The shape of the banana made it taboo.

To the band that played second banana to the Beatles.

They were lucky to come in second, and the truth is they only came in second for about two months.

Listen to Mobituaries on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

What's up, guys?

It's Tori.

Mesa and I are back to host another season of MTV's official Challenge Podcast, and we are so excited to get into this next season because we competed in it.

Each week, we, along with your favorite challengers, will be getting into all the juicy details of season 38 and breaking down our competition journey.

Listen to MTV's official Challenge Podcasts on the iHeart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.