Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve is supposedly the spookiest night of the year. A night where children run from house to house for sweets and chocolates, we dress up in frightening costumers and some even say spirits and souls wander the earth – but how much do we really know about Halloween?
Here are thirteen frightful facts about the night:
1) Halloween was influenced by the Ancient Roman festival pf Pomona. Many Halloween customs that we know today including games such as bobbing for apples date back to this time. In fact, Halloween has once been called San-Apple night.
2) According to folklore, if you see a spider at night on Halloween; it could be the spirit of a dead loved one watching and checking up on you.
3) The word ‘Witch’ comes from the Old English of Wicce; meaning wise woman. According to popular belief, witches once held one of their two main meetings on Halloween.
4) Halloween was taken to America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around the bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes. Now Halloween is the second highest grossing holidays in America behind Christmas.
5) A full moon on Halloween is extremely rare although this is a common theme in many decorations. In fact; the next full moon to occur on Halloween will be in 2020. Before that the most recent was in 2001 and before that 1955.
6) Owls are popular as a Halloween image as in Medieval Europe owls were thought to be witches.
7) Black and Orange are typically associated with Halloween as orange is a symbol of strength and endurance where as black represents death and darkness. Therefore, these colours acted as a reminder that Halloween was once a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.
8) Jack o’ lanterns were originally made out of beets, potato and turnips. When Halloween was taken to America, they begun using pumpkins as they were cheaper and so became the Jack o’ lantern we know today.
9) According to Irish Legend, Jack O Lanterns were named after a stingy man who believed he tricked the devil by making the devil promise never to take his soul and trapping the devil. However; when he died he was forbidden from entering both heaven or hell therefore condemned to wander the Earth for eternity waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
10) Trick-or-Treating didn’t used to be about going door to door for chocolate and sweets. In fact, Ancient Celtic tradition of putting treats and food out for roaming spirits is where it all began.
11) According to tradition, if a person wears their clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, they will see a witch at Midnight.
12) Black Cats, spiders and bats are all Halloween symbols, because of their spooky history. All three were believed to be familiars of witches in the middle ages.
13) In Mexico, they celebrate Days of the Dead (Días de los Muertos) on the Christian Holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day (1stand 2ndNovember) instead of celebrating Halloween. Family and friends gather to remember those who have died and leave offerings for the deceased in hope that their souls will visit and hear the prayers for them.
Have a frightful Halloween night!