This Tuesday is Halloween! I love to dress up and stir up some fun.
Did you know that:
Halloween’s origins can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season, the midpoint between the fall equinox and the winter solstice, also known as Cross-Quarter Day.
Celts believed that on the night of October 31st, the boundary between the living and the dead blurred, allowing spirits to walk the Earth. People lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off these wandering spirits.
In the 7th Century, the Christian church sought to replace pagan festivals, so it established November 1 as All Saints' Day, a day commemorating all the saints of the church.
The All Saints’ Day celebration was also called All-Hallows or All-Hallowmas, and the night before was called All-Hallows Eve, then eventually, Halloween. The Holy Eve of All Saints Day.
In 1000 A.D., the church created All Souls’ Day on November 2, a day to honor the dead.
Day of the Dead
Celebrated after Halloween on November 1 and 2, "Day of the Dead" (Día de los Muertos) is a beautiful and unique tradition that combines indigenous beliefs with Catholicism. Traditionally a Mexican holiday, it is a time to honor and remember deceased loved ones. DoD is not a mournful occasion but instead a joyful and colorful celebration of life and death.
The Middle Ages: In England and Ireland during All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day celebrations, poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. This tradition is called "souling".
Later children would go from door to door asking for gifts such as food, money, and ale as an early form of trick-or-treating.
19th Century: Jack-o-Lanterns came to light.
Jack-o-lanterns originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack,” who tricked the Devil and was forced to roam the earth with only a lump of burning coal in a turnip to light his way. People made their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away wandering evil spirits
In America, pumpkins were used because they were more common and much better suited for carving.
19th Century: So, it seems that the Irish and Scottish brought much of the fun and mischief to America during Halloween celebrations. Some of the common Halloween pranks were placing wagons and livestock on the roofs of barns, tipping over outhouses, and other naughty things.
By the early 20th century, vandalism, physical assaults, mayhem, and acts of violence were not uncommon on Halloween.
During the Great Depression in the U.S., violence around Halloween became an issue, so parents, organized “haunted houses” to keep their kids off the streets and out of danger.
Dressing up in costumes had been associated with Halloween since its inception, But it wasn't until the mid-20th century that costumes started to look the way we know them today.
The popularity of dressing up in Halloween costumes can be attributed to a combination of historical, cultural, and commercial factors. It has become a central and cherished aspect of Halloween celebrations, allowing people to engage in creativity, self-expression, and communal fun during this festive holiday.
Why is a black cat crossing your path considered bad luck?
In medieval Europe, people believed that the devil and witches were capable of taking the form of black cats. So, a black cat crossing your path might be a witch or the devil in disguise.
During the Renaissance, Many fearful peasants hurried to the nearest church and paid a priest to bless them and rid them of any bad omen that the cat may have caused. These fears were encouraged since this was a source of income for the church.
Cats also became linked to witches in medieval Europe.
Since Witches honored the natural world and had great respect for plants and animals, the affection between humans and animals was seen as evil or devilish.
Luckily, some cultures believe that black cats bring good luck. They were honored in ancient Egypt, and in Scotland and Japan, they represent prosperity.
The Biggest Pumpkin World record was set this year on October 10 in Half Moon Bay, CA! It came in weighing 2,749 pounds.The pumpkins grower, Gienger, won $9 per pound, = $24,741, as well as a special $30,000 "mega-prize" for the new world record.
The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in Ohio in 2010. It weighed 3,699 pounds and was over 20 feet in diameter. It took 1,212 pounds of canned pumpkin, 2,796 eggs, 525 pounds of sugar, and 440 sheets of dough to make the pie
The average American consumes approximately 3.4 pounds of candy on Halloween.
Children eat around 7,000 calories, which equals three cups of sugar on Halloween
This year Americans are predicted to spend nearly $2.6 billion on candy alone.
An estimated 300,000 tons of candy is sold during the Halloween season.
35 million pounds of candy corn are still produced each year.
Hershey begins producing its holiday-specific candy up to six months in advance of Halloween.