Halloween is known for costumes and candy, but check out these obscure Halloween facts that may change your mind about the spookiest holiday.
Halloween is more Irish than St Patrick’s Day
Halloweens origins come from a Celtic festival for the dead called ‘Samhain’. Celtic people believed that the ghosts of the dead roamed the Earth on this day so people would dress in costumes and leave ‘treats’ out on their front doors to attract these souls.
Dance for treats
The tradition of going door to door on Halloween for treats dates back to the middle ages, but did you know that people use to do more than knock for their treats. In fact, they danced, it was custom to perform dances and prayers in order to receive treats.
Jack-o-lanterns were once made from turnips, beets and potatoes
Originally Jack-o-lanterns come from an Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack who was out drinking with the devil and convinced him to turn himself into a coin so they could pay for drinks, he did so and Jack put him in his pocket with a silver cross, which prevented him from turning back. The trick allowed jack to live another 10 years and once he died God decided that he wasn’t fit for heaven, so he was sent to roam the earth with only burning coal for light, in which he put into a turnip and he then became, Jack of the lantern. Based on this myth the Irish carved scary faces into turnips beets and potatoes to scare off Stingy Jack and other spirits.
Hong Kong Halloween
Halloween celebrations in Hong Kong are known as Yue Lan or the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. It is believed that spirits roam the world for twenty-four hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money at this time, believing these images would reach the spirit world and bring comfort to the ghosts.
In the earliest Halloween celebrations, you might have worn animal skins and heads
According to ancient Roman records, tribes located in Germany and France traditionally wore costumes of animal heads and skins to connect to spirits of the dead. This tradition continued into modern day celebrations, the Celtic holiday that inspired Halloween in America. On this day people often dressed as evil spirits simply by blackening their faces. The leader of the Samhain parades wore a white sheet and carried a wooden horse head or a decorated horse skull young people also celebrated by cross-dressing.
Which celebration do you think you could adopt now? And which ones do you think are best to be left in the past? Tweet us @iqstudents