The air is filled with wonder and excitement as October 31st gets closer. Halloween is a holiday that both kids and adults love. It's a time for costumes, candy, and, of course, being a little scary. But how much do we really know about this creepy party? Let us learn about Halloween's past, traditions, and some interesting facts.
How Halloween Got Its Start
Halloween's roots can be found in the Celtic holiday Samhain, which is pronounced sow-in. The Celts marked their new year on November 1. They lived 2,000 years ago in what is now Ireland, the UK, and northern France. This day marked the end of summer and the crop. It also marked the start of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often linked to death. Celts thought that the line between the living and the dead became less clear on the night before the new year. They celebrated Samhain on the night of October 31, which was thought to be when the ghosts of the dead came back to earth.
Dressing up and trick-or-treating
People like to dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating on Halloween, which has roots in old customs. The Celts dressed up in outfits made of animal heads and skins and tried to tell each other their futures. After the party, they lit their hearth fires again from the holy bonfire, which they had put out earlier that evening to keep them safe during the winter.
Going door-to-door for candy has changed over the years. In Britain in the Middle Ages, poor people would go door-to-door on All Souls' Day (November 2) and ask for food in exchange for prayers for the dead. This was called Hallowmas (November 1). Kids soon started "souling," which meant going to people's houses in the neighborhood and getting beer, food, and money.
The History of Jack-o-Lanterns in Ireland
The jack-o'-lantern is one of the most well-known Halloween images. Some people carve pumpkins because of an Irish story about a man called "Stingy Jack." The story says that Jack tricked the Devil several times, which is why he couldn't go to heaven or hell after he died. In its place, the Devil gave him a hot coal to help him find his way. Jack put the coal in a turnip that he had cut out, and ever since then he has been traveling the world with it. Irish people brought the practice to the United States, which is where pumpkins come from, and it became an important part of Halloween celebrations.
Trick or Treating Around the WorldAround the world, people enjoy Halloween in different ways. El Día de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead," is what All Souls' Day is called in Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. It is a three-day celebration that starts on October 31 evening. Families remember the dead and celebrate the continuation of life during the holiday.
Great Britain has a lot of places where people have bonfire nights on or around Halloween. In the past, kids did this by knocking on doors and asking for money to buy fireworks.
Halloween, Just the Facts
Halloween has grown into a big business holiday. In 2020, Americans will spend about $9 billion on it. People buy a lot of candy this time of year. Skittles, Reese's Cups, and M&Ms are some of the most popular. More than 90 million pounds of chocolate are bought during Halloween week, making it the second busiest time of the year for chocolate sales.
The holiday of Halloween is full of magic, mystery, and a little bit of the scary. It has a long past that goes back to ancient customs. From the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain to the modern tradition of trick-or-treating, this scary holiday has changed over the years but still fascinates people of all ages. As you dress up and go out into the night on October 31, remember the rituals that have been around for hundreds of years and helped make Halloween what it is today.