How much do we really know about the Halloween Holiday? Most of us dress up in scary costumes, take our children trick-or-treating for candy, and carve faces into pumpkins, yet many of us don’t know why? Here are some silly facts you might not know about one of our favorite holidays. Take a look…
Celts were the ones who started the costume ritual
Celts wore costumes and masks during the festival of Samhain to ward off the paranormal, evil spirits that could travel into the world of the living for a short period of time.
Catholics started the moniker “Halloween” holiday
For three days the Catholic holiday Hallowmas was celebrated in honor of the saints. It allowed people to pray for their recently deceased loved ones. During the 11th century, a decree was made by the Pope that the ritual should last from Oct. 31st through Nov. 2nd. It was celebrated at the same time of the Samhain festival. It was believed that they had started this to try to convert the pagans into Christians. By the 18th century “All Hallow’s Eve” had evolved into the commonly known word “Hallowe’en”.
Wicca Folklore created most of our symbols
Most of the symbols we use to decorate our houses with for Halloween originated from spooky Wiccan history. During the middle ages ritualistic Samhain bonfires would repel insects but draw in bats. Witches and bad luck were associated with the creatures of the night like bats, black cats and spiders―all things we have integrated into our Halloween custom. Even the owl’s call was thought to be a witch’s voice, telling others that someone was about to die.
Poisonous candy from strangers is a bogus fear
Because of all the horror stories we’ve been told, we fear that when we send our kids out trick-or-treating, they will come home with poisonous candy or apples filled with razor blades. Only two people have been associated with deadly candy.
One boy died of a heroin overdose in 1970 after he had accidently consumed candy laced with heroin. Later, it was discovered that it came from his uncle’s private stash. To cover up the accidental death, the family had sprinkled heroin over the candy.
In 1974 a father added cyanide to Pixy Sticks to collect on his children’s $20,000 life insurance policy. After his son’s death, investigators discovered, he had tried to poison his daughter too.
Both horrific deaths had nothing to do with trick-or-treating.
Halloween has become the second largest holiday for merchants
Because of the 90 million pounds of candy consumed or distributed by people during Halloween, it’s become a $2 billion industry. Overall, the Halloween holiday generates over $6 billion annually for merchants between the candy, costumes, and spooky decorations.
Turnips were originally used to carve Jack-O-Lanterns, not pumpkins
During the 1800’s when the Irish came to America to escape the potato famine, turnips were hard to come by so they started using pumpkins as their replacement in the hopes of keeping the evil spirits away.