When we think of Halloween we think of scary monsters, witches laughing at midnight, vampires roaming about looking for their next prey, owls screeching, zombies lurking in the dark and of course, lots and lots of candy. Even though this is one of the most popular holidays in the USA , and over the last few years it has gained momentum in other countries around the world as well, there are still some interesting facts about the night of October 31st that are not common knowledge. Originating from a Gaelic celebration called Samhain, the last night of October is the one night in which it’s believed that departed souls can walk freely on Earth. The name Halloween actually comes from All Hallows Eve.
“Souling” is the medieval version of modern day Halloween’s trick-or-treating. In medieval times, the day of November 1st brought about a lot of commotion. The poor would knock from door to door, offering prayers for the souls of the departed in exchange for the so called “soul cakes”.
You’ll be surprised to know that early on, Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns were actually made of turnips, not pumpkins. The Irish immigrants who came to America brought with them this custom. However, in the States turnips weren’t as cheap as pumpkins, so Americans started using pumpkins. Nowadays, pumpkins are used worldwide. Another interesting thing about Jack-O-Lanterns is their origin- a Celtic tale featuring a man called Jack, who tricked the Devil into paying for his drink. The Devil gave him a hellish ember, which Jack hid in a carved turnip that he carried around with him in order to fend off any future encounters with the Devil.
Yes, it is real. Some people suffer from Samhainophobia- a severe fear of Halloween which causes panic attacks in sufferers. Other phobias which are enhanced in this time of the year are wiccaphobia- fear of witches, phasmophobia- fear of ghosts and coimetrophobia- the fear of cemeteries.
High Grossing Holiday
Halloween is the second highest grossing holiday after Christmas. Decorative lights, lawn ornaments, costumes, candy, spooky sets and the fact that Halloween has slowly turned from a single night into an entire season make it one of the most expensive celebrations. Business is blooming this time of year for candy makers , that’s for sure.
Halloween is without a doubt a popular holiday. People love the idea of dressing up for a night and being supernatural.: ghosts, zombies, witches and vampires break free. Parties abound, candy as well. Halloween is a night to remember. Do you like Halloween? What’s your costume this year?
References: randomfacts.com, halloweenhistory.org Photos from: fanpop.com
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