Did you ever wonder how the traditions of Halloween began? Why do we carve pumpkins or dress in costumes? Well we did some research and learned 6 fun facts about Halloween.
1. How did Halloween Begin?
2000 years ago, ancient celtics celebrated a festival every year on November 1st known as Samhain.
The night before Samhain or Samhain’s Eve, they believed the dead returned as ghosts. They left food and treats outside their door to keep the ghosts at bay. The Christian Church turned Samhain into All Saints Day or All Hallow’s Day. October 31st then became All Hallow’s Eve, later shortened to Halloween.
2. How did people begin dressing up for Halloween?
The celtics began dressing in masks and costumes when they left the house on Samhain Eve. They believed if they wore costumes, the ghosts would mistake them as fellow ghosts.
3. Why do we carve Jack o’ Lanterns?
This tradition originated in Ireland. During Samhain, people would carve turnips and place candles in them. They believed that in addition to the treats they left, these would keep the spirits away from their homes.
4. Why Orange and Black?
Orange has always been associated with fall and the harvest and black has always been associated with darkness and death.
5. What is guising and what does it have to do with trick or treating?
In Medieval Britian, Guising was common on Halloween. During guising, young people would dress up in costumes and accept money and food in exchange for singing, dancing, reciting poetry or telling jokes.
In 19th Century America, Irish immigrants brought back this tradition, but renamed it Trick or Treating. Orginally it was mostly about tricks; neighbors would play pranks on each other. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that it became the family tradition it is today.
6. How much money do consumers spend on Halloween every year?
It is estimated that about 2.5 billion dollars are spent every year on costumes, and 3.5 billion are spent on candy. This makes Halloween the most commerical holiday after Christmas.
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