Do you know the origins of Halloween and where the traditions come from? What is the reason for all of the superstitions associated with Halloween and what do they all mean? I’ve been wondering these things for years and finally decided to do a little research to find out. I also included some fun statistics about Halloween that I stumbled across too. I hope you enjoy, and don’t forget about my book giveaway that ends on Halloween at 12:01 a.m. CST.
Halloween is derived from the ritual of Samhain (pronounced sah-ween) begun by the ancient Celts over 2,000 years ago to mark the end of the Celtic calendar year and the beginning of winter. They believed that on their New Year’s Eve (Halloween) the boundary between the living and dead was most blurred and they associated the winter season with death. The Druids, who were the leaders as well as priests in the Celtic tribes, would lead superstitious rituals that have come to be associated with Halloween even today. When Catholic missionaries tried to convert the Celts, they established All Saints Day on November 1 to counteract the pagan holiday. Although this was accepted by the Celts, it did not squelch their superstitions and the evening before was renamed All Hallow’s (Saints) Eve. Over time All Hallows Evening was slurred and shortened to become Halloween.
Bonfire – Superstitious ritual, originally called a bone fire, conducted by Druids when Celts burned sacrificial animals or foods to appease the spirits.
Halloween Costumes – During the bonfire, Celts would dress up in costumes made from animal heads and skins.As time went by, this was converted to the more traditional costumes of Halloween.
Trick-or-Treat – Trick-or-Treating began as a result of the superstitious belief that treats needed to be left out to appease the fairies and spirits that roamed the earth on Halloween. It was first called “souling” as people began to dress up as spirits and skeletons and went door to door gathering treats while saying prayers for the dead.
Pumpkin Carving – Pumpkin carving was actually derived from the Irish tradition of carving turnips and potatoes for Halloween. When Irish settlers came to America they began to carve pumpkins because of the good pumpkin harvests. Irish would call them “jack-o-lanterns” because of the old Irish legend about a man named stingy Jack who was too stingy to go to heaven and tricked the devil too much to go to hell. Jack’s soul was left to roam the earth for eternity with his lantern. and people began carving vegetables to put a candle in them hoping it will ward off Jack.
Halloween Fun Facts
1.5 Billion pounds of pumpkins are grown every year.
1,810 lb. 8 oz. – heaviest pumpkin on record, presented at the Stillwater Harvest Festival in 2010.
24.7 pounds of candy is consumed per person every year in America.
25% of all candy purchased in the U.S. is solely for Halloween.
41 Million – Estimated number of trick-or-treaters (between the ages of 5-14) in 2010.
92% of households consider their neighborhood safe for trick-or-treating.
Halloween Capital of the world – Anoka, Minnesota declares itself to be the Halloween capital of the world because the city has had a week long celebration of Halloween every year since 1920 to deter pranks.
Samhainphobia is the fear of Halloween, remember that Halloween is derived from the ancient festival of Samhain.
50% of children prefer chocolate candy for Halloween.
Dia de los Muertos is the name of the Halloween celebration in Mexico, and it means Day of the Dead.
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated in England as an alternative to Halloween due to early Protestant influence. It was the day England executed the notorious traitor, Guy Fawkes- what a way to be commemorated in history.
Harry Houdini died Halloween night in 1926 as a result of an appendicitis attack.
11.5% of Americans will dress up their pets for Halloween.
$5.8 Billion is estimated to be spent in America on Halloween every year.
Happy Halloween! If you enjoy the work I put in to my posts, then please vote for me on the left side bar. I would really appreciate it. Thanks! I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. If you want to learn more about Halloween or just want to check out my sources, here they are: