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American Holiday Traditions and Immigration

Many American holiday traditions in particular Christmas and Halloween traditions were influenced and created by German and Scot-Irish immigrants.
by

madeline quasebarth

on 25 November 2012

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Transcript of American Holiday Traditions and Immigration

American Holiday
Traditions Christmas Halloween Conclusion Halloween is an important American tradition that has shaped cultural norms and the economy. The holiday of Halloween was brought over to America by Irish immigrants, who mainly immigrated during the potato famine and brought over their culture and customs, including Halloween. Irish Immigration German Immigration Conclusion American Christmas traditions such as the Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, and carols were brought over to America by German immigrants. Why Holiday Traditions are Important: Holiday traditions are important because they can influence the customs and values of a society. They also can influence where and how money is spent in a particular society. Some American Halloween and Christmas holiday traditions were created and are influenced by ideas and customs brought over by German and Scot-irish immigrants. The holiday of Halloween started in the early 13th century in Scotland, Ireland, and other north western European countries. It was originally called Samhain. Ancient Roots of Halloween Halloween and Early America When early settlers first came to America they banned Halloween because they saw it as a pagan holiday, even though the Catholic Church had approved it. Not until the mid 19th century did Halloween start to become a holiday in America Modern Halloween Traditions Ancient Scot-Irish Halloween Traditions The Celts (Irish) would set bonfires on Halloween to ward away evil spirits who wore disguises. Also people would participate in a ritual called souling. Souling was a tradition where poor children would go door to door and ask for food and treats in exchange for simple tasks the children could perform, like singing, dancing, or praying for deceased loved ones. Some modern Halloween traditions are trick of treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, and dressing up. Even though for each person their personal Halloween traditions might vary these three traditions are the most common. Halloween started to become an important and popular society in the mid 19th century. In many social columns on high society in this time period there are numerous Halloween balls and parties mentioned, which is yet another Halloween tradition. Children, most likely from a southern state, dressed up for a Halloween party. Roughly late 1800's 2 waves of Irish immigration:
early 18th century during the colonial period
1846-1900 due to the potato famine Facts Irish Immigration and Halloween Popularity 1846 2012 1900 1911 First surge of Irish immigration to America that was a result of the potato famine Surge of Irish immigration has due to the potato famine ends, but new Irish communities continue to practice traditions, like Samhain (Halloween) First documented Halloween trick or treating practiced in America by non-Irish communities, this was followed quickly by other Halloween related parties that began to take place in the entirety of American society. Halloween has become on of the most popular holidays in America. In 2011 around 6.9 billion dollars were spent in total on Halloween related objects (costumes, candy, decorations, ect.). Around 41 million people went trick or treating in 2011, which is equivalent to 7 out of 10 families celebrating Halloween. Immigrants (around early 19th century) traveling to America on a steam boat. Roots of Christmas Christmas started in Europe as a pagan holiday honoring the winter solstice. By the 9th century Christmas was a widely celebrated Roman Catholic holiday that was beginning to gain popularity and importance. However the customs and traditions of Western Christmas didn't develop until the 19th century. Christmas in Early America Christmas in early America was practically non existent until the Civil War. Early puritan pilgrims outlawed Christmas, and not until the revolutionary war did Christmas become legal country wide. However Christmas in the 1800's and Christmas now were much different because many traditions weren't yet brought over by Eastern European immigrants. A Christmas scene made around the time of the Civil War. Depicting a soldier coming home from the war. During the Civil War Christmas started to become an important holiday Modern American Christmas Traditions Even though Christmas traditions vary from family to family the most popular traditions and Christmas icons are wide spread through out America. Some of the traditions are Christmas trees, exchanging presents, caroling, gingerbread houses and Santa Claus. Old Austrian German Traditions Gingerbread house making around Christmas time originated from Germany, most likely stemming from Grimm's fairy tales. Christmas trees, or a "paradise tree" started in Germany from pagan roots. Old German traditions stated that families would bring fir trees into their homes and decorate them with lights, candies, fruits, and ornaments. In 1531 the first printed documentation of a Christmas tree was found in Germany.Also such carols as "Silent night" and "Hark, the Angles Sing" originated from Germany. German Austrian Immigration Facts: In 1608 the first German Immigrant came to America. After the 30 years war there was an increase of German immigration to America. In the 19th century there was another wave of German immigrants to America most likely stemming form the economic hardships that were affecting Germany at the time. German Immigration and Christmas Traditions 2012 1804 A wave of German immigrants moved from Germany to Pennsylvania 1821 One of the first documented Christmas tree's in America and Gingerbread houses come to America brought by German immigrants 1531 First documented Christmas tree in Germany As of a few years ago over 36 million Christmas trees were sold in America. It is the largest commercialized holiday in America. Gregor Rapp: came over to America with his religious followers to Pennsylvania, who brought the Christmas tree for the first time to America
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