Where do Halloween Trees Come From?
Halloween is traditionally celebrated by dressing up, handing out candy, putting up spooky decorations, putting an old creepy album on the record player (maybe this one is just for me), or even setting up the yearly Halloween tree. However, Halloween was celebrated much differently 2,000 years ago. Yes, the Holiday tradition goes back that far. Of course, back then it wasn’t actually called Halloween. Initially, it was called the festival of Samhain and was celebrated by the ancient Celtic people. Later, the Catholic church dubbed November 2 “All Soul’s Day. This was a day to honor the dead and was celebrated in a very similar manner to Samhain, the Celtic celebration. It has also been suggested that this celebration was created by the church to replace the Samhain celebration with a more Christian-friendly holiday. Regardless, All Soul’s Day and the preceding night became known as All-hallows eve. This would eventually come to be known simply as Halloween.
We have since come a long way and as the name has changed over the years so has how we celebrate it. One of the most recent additions to the Halloween tradition checklist would have to be the Halloween Tree. Now, you might be asking yourself; What the heck is a Halloween Tree? Well, obviously borrowed from Christmas, the Halloween Tree is usually an artificial pine tree purchased specifically with the intent of decorating it for Halloween. Halloween trees can be purchased in a variety of Halloween-themed colors from bright orange to purple and even black. They can also be purchased from the very small 12” desktop versions to much larger 7’ or 8’ artificial trees. Much like Christmas typically ornaments are placed all over the tree. However, unlike Christmas, Halloween ornaments can be a little more frightening. There is no end to the creepy, spooky, or downright scary ornaments that can be purchased now. From eyeballs to skulls to horror-themed ornaments and just about anything terrifying you can imagine. Some crafty Halloween tree enthusiasts also plan out entire themes for their trees. Get creative and pick a theme; Pick from Candy Corn, Skeletons, Zombies, and Clowns, or even pick a favorite horror movie to theme your tree after.
So, now you have a pretty good understanding of what a Halloween tree is and some good decorating ideas. However, the question remains; How did Halloween Trees start? Well, that answer is a bit more complicated. To be completely honest, the true origins of the Halloween tree and the first Halloween tree to be erected are largely unknown. What we do know is that Ray Bradbury wrote a book in 1972 titled “The Halloween Tree”. In this novel, Bradbury writes about a tree decorated with orange lights and jack-o’-lanterns. However, the book was published in 1972 and the Halloween tree is a fairly new phenomenon so it seems unlikely that is the whole story. More recently, Disney World started decorating a huge oak tree that sits in the middle of Frontierland. Every year around Halloween the massive tree is decorated for the Halloween season. It seems likely that this idea may have been inspired by the novel. In any case, since the mega theme park started decorating trees at Halloween the Halloween tree tradition had been born.