Halloween or All Hallows’ Evening is a second biggest festive after Christmas celebrated on October 31 each year. Halloween has its roots in an ancient harvest festival held at the end of the Celtic year called Samhain. Celebration marked end of summer and beginning of wintertime. People believed that spirits are coming back on that evening to destroy crops and play tricks on the living. Halloween is a very colourful and cheerful celebration with its great traditions. Playing trick-or-treating, dressing up as a Zombie, Vampire, Witch, Skeleton etc., eating a LOT of candy, watching horror movies and telling scary stories. Themed parties and parades, decorated houses and gardens looking like cemeteries. Halloween became huge Event. Here are some of the facts you may not know yet
It was believed that during Samhain spirits came in to the world and mingles with the living. They could knock to your door beg for money or food, if you turned them away empty handed they could curse or hunt you. Tradition also says that dressing up would prevent living from recognising and taking their souls by spirits. In the U.S., trick-or-treating became a Halloween tradition around the late 1950 s, after it was brought over by Irish immigrants in the early 1900 s.
Why Orange and Black?
Colours came from pagan tradition of autumn and Harvest, orange symbol of strength and endurance along with brown and gold stands for turning leaves and crops. Where black is beginning of dark time of the year- winter time or simply “death” of the summer. Black also reminds that Halloween is a festival that marks boundaries between life and death.
Tradition of sugary fruit on stick comes from Roman festival honouring Pamona- fruit trees goddess which is often symbolised by an apple. Fruit easily became symbol of Samhain Harvest celebrations.
Thousands of people suffer from Samhainophobia which is an intense and persistent fear of Halloween that can cause panic attacks in sufferers.
Other relevant phobias for this time of year:
- fear of witches -Wiccaphobia
- fear of cemeteries- Coimetrophobia
- fear of ghosts -Phasmophobia
-fear of spiders- Arachnophobia
-fear of cats- Ailurophobia
Image of the haggard witch with a pointy black hat and warts nose stirring a magical potion in her cauldron actually symbolises pagan goddess known as The Crone, who was honoured during Samhain. She was also known as Earth Mother or The Old One and symbolized change, the turning of the seasons and wisdom.
And the word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief,
witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
To meet a witch on Halloween night, wear your clothes inside out and walk backwards…..
The First Jack-O-Lanterns
They were originally hollowed-out turnips. Celtic folklore tells the tale of a drunken farmer named Jack who tricked the devil several times; as a result he got turned away from both the gates of Heaven and Hell after he died. Having no choice but to wander
around the darkness of purgatory, Jack made a lantern from a turnip and a burning lump of coal that the devil had tossed him from hell.
Jack-o’-lanterns placed outside would help guide lost spirits home when they wander the streets on Halloween.
The world’s largest pumpkin weighed in at 1,872 pounds.
According to legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it’s actually the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween. While pumpkins are typically orange, they can also be green, white, and grey.