Cool Things You Didn't Know About Halloween
Posted on 10/31/2016
Happy Halloween! Today’s the day when the spookiest ghosts and goblins walk among us, vampires rise from the dead and witches boil their brews. The celebration of All Hallows Eve has been around for thousands of years, but today it is celebrated all over the world in different traditions and cultures.
In the United States, many people celebrate Halloween by dressing up in the funniest/scariest/most interesting costumes they can think of, and trick-or-treating with their young ones. However, turns out there’s probably a lot about the holiday that even you don’t know. Here are some spooky cool things you can learn about Halloween this year.
Halloween dates back 2,000 years.
Halloween’s origins can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated in the area now known as Ireland. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st, and believed that the night before—October 31st—the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead was blurred.
By 43 A.D., the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of the Celtic territory, and Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as All Saint’s Day, incorporating some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before then came to be known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.
Halloween costumes weren’t always fun.
When Halloween originated as Samhain, many of the local people believed that spirits came back to walk among us. Worried some of these spirits may be evil, citizens dressed up in scary costumes to try and keep malevolent ghosts away.
They used cow hides, animal skins and handcrafted masks as rudimentary costumes to protect themselves and their families from the evil spirits roaming the earth.
Halloween jack-o’-lanterns haven’t always been pumpkins.
The origin of the jack-o’-lantern comes from the Irish tale of a man named Stingy Jack, who made a deal with the Devil to never claim his soul. When Jack died, he wasn’t allowed into Heaven, but the Devil couldn’t claim his soul, so Jack was sent to wander the Earth with a burning coal for light.
Jack put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, so he became known as “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack o’ Lantern.” Since then, jack-o’-lanterns have been carved into everything from turnips, to potatoes, to now pumpkins.
Halloween is a big-time holiday.
Today, Halloween is the second-highest grossing commercial holiday in the United States, second only to Christmas. According to USA Today, this Halloween is projected to rake in 8.4 billion—that’s billion with a b—dollars in 2016. That’s $82.93 per person! $2.5 billion of that is expected to go towards just candy alone.
This Halloween, celebrate with friends and family by dressing up, trick-or-treating and having fun. Support your local businesses by enjoying a delicious meal or coffee before going out for the evening. And stay safe from all those ghosts, witches and vampires out there! Have a spooky fun and safe All Hallows Eve.