Despite the chaotic year, many look to the Halloween season to enjoy themselves and indulge in spooks and candy. Though it’s important to be mindful of health amid COVID, you can still have fun.
To enhance your autumn scary season, here’s a few fun things about Halloween!
It was originally a Gaelic holiday, Samhain
Before Halloween came to America, it was known as Samhain, a celebration of the year’s twilight. Though not quite fool of candy and scary movies, Samhain still lives in the heart of All Hallows Eve. In fact, trademark things we celebrate are all part of Samhain’s origin.
For instance, wearing costumes was designed to thwart evil spirits, who were believed to rise on the holiday in search of people. As for carved pumpkins, gourds were left out to hopefully scary away wraiths and the like. Finally, while sugary sweets weren’t exactly a thing, using offerings to appease spirits were common aspects of Samhain.
Once Samhain was adopted into a more “consumer” friendly holiday, it became All Hallows Eve, or, Halloween.
It was turnips, not jack-o-lanterns
Pumpkins are a hallmark of Halloween, and for obvious reasons. These bright, colorful vegetables are perfect for décor, carved or not. But, if things had gone different, we may have ended up carving turnips instead.
The main reason comes from Jack, a farmer who fooled the Devil. None too happy about being bamboozled, said Devil made Jack wander in purgatory with coal, until Jack found a turnip and used that to guide him instead.
It was an Irish story, but since turnips weren’t a common crop in the United States, pumpkins made for a good alternative.
Candy corn may not be so good because it was based on chicken feed
Candy corn is. . . an interesting candy choice for most. Some like it, though it’s got a reputation as a fairly disliked candy, given its texture an odd sugary flavor.
Perhaps this is because candy corn was based on chicken feed!
Trick-or-treating has been a thing for centuries
While some used costumes to escape spirits crossing over to the mortal realm, others used it in hopes of generosity. In times old, children and families would dress up and ask for food, sometimes called soulling.
That whole escapade popularized once the Peanuts made an animated special about it (from Charlie Brown for those a little green behind the ears).
Halloween is pretty commercial
Though it’s no surprise, Halloween is a time of big spending, averaging around $6 billion per year. There’s an obvious push for costumes, candy, and decorations.
That’s why it’s important to learn the origins and facts about this old holiday, lest we write it off as another way to spend money.
Enjoy yourselves this year and have a spooky holiday!