Halloween is right around the corner and with it comes spooky and fun traditions. Today's Halloween traditions have become a hybrid of Pagan, Celtic, Catholic and Roman rituals dating back to the 17th century. Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31 and with it comes with some great history and facts.
1.) Halloween has origins from ancient Celtic beliefs.
Halloween is a shortened version of the name All Hallows Eve which was celebrated by the Catholics, but it is believed that this Catholic holiday was inspired by the Celtic festival Samhain. Samhain was the celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. During this time the Gaels would stock up on supplies and prepare for the winter season. It was believed that on October 31 the boundaries between the worlds of the living and dead would come together and the dead would come back on this day to reek havoc on the living, killing their crops and causing illness. Masks and costumes were used by the living to disguise themselves from the dead.
2.) Jack O' Lanterns used to be carved out of turnips.
Jack O' lanterns date back to 17th century Britain when people would carve faces into turnips. They were known as "turnip lanterns" and were exactly that. People would cut open the turnip, scoop out the insides, carve a face in the turnip skin and then place a lit candle inside to illuminate the face. During the celebrations of Hallomas (All Saints Day, Nov 1) and All Souls Day( Nov. 2), catholic children would go door to door, carrying turnip lanterns, and would beg for food to commemorate the deceased. It wasn't until the 19th century when the Irish brought over the tradition of carving out of pumpkins. This proved to be much easier then turnips and the tradition caught on by the mid to late 19th century.
3.) Costumes were worn to disguise the living.
The tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween comes from the celebration of Samhain. Because it was believed that the dead were among the living on October 31 people would wear costumes and masks as disguises to trick the dead or scare them away. This was done in the hopes that the dead would leave them alone and not hurt them in any way.
4.) There is a reason orange and black are Halloween colors.
Orange and black are often seen as Halloween colors and believe it or not there is actually a reason for this. In the ancient Celtic times, orange was seen as the color of the harvest. It was associated with the season of harvest and crops. Black was the color that represented the death of the summer. These colors came together on Halloween to represent these two things that were being celebrated.
5.) Halloween in the 2nd most commercial holiday.
In the United States alone 6 billion dollars are spent yearly on Halloween, making it the second most commercial holiday. The most commercial holiday is Christmas with Halloween coming in as the closest second. People spend loads of money in preparation for Halloween on things like candy, costumes, decorations and party supplies. This makes the candy companies very happy around Halloween time.
Halloween is a fun holiday celebrated by most people on October 31. It brings communities together for spooky celebrations and along with it comes some fun traditions. Are you ready for Halloween?