Somewhere between the going of fall and the coming of winter, Halloween is the night of plenty and paucity, life and death, celebration and superstition. It is said to have originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would light bonfires to ward off evil spirits.
Surprise! The festival has more to it than tricks and treats and dressing up scary.
Here are 20 things you probably didn't know about the spooky festival of Halloween!
1. The word Halloween comes from Hallows eve
Which was the evening before All Hallows’ (sanctified or holy) Day or Hallowmas on November 1.
2. Thousands of people suffer from Samhainophobia even today
Samhainophobia is the irrational fear of Halloween. Despite conscious understanding of the individual and reassurance from others, the phobic individual is spooked out on Halloween.
3. The first Jack-o-lanterns were actually turnips
Yeah, they look spookier too. Pumpkins only came later.
4. The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce , meaning “wise woman.”
In fact it is believed that the wiccians were highly respected people at one time.
5. Jack-o-Lanterns were named after stingy man Jack
According to legend, Jack tricked the devil several times and was not allowed to enter hell, or heaven. So he passed his time waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
6. The largest pumpkin ever was weighed in at 1,872 pounds
It was Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993.
7. It's illegal in Alabama to dress up as a priest!
That's a funny custom.
8. Trick-or-treating was actually meant to pacify roaming spirits
It evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, on the last day of the Samhain calendar.
9. Ireland is the birthplace of Halloween
Not just famous for its whiskey and coffee, but also for being spooky!
10. Orange and black are the colours of the night
Orange is the colour of strength and endurance, and also symbolises harvest of autumn, and black is symbolic of evil and death. Two things that Halloween stands for.
11. Halloween is the second highest commercial holiday after Christmas in America
It’s estimated that total Halloween spending could reached $8 billion in 2015!
12. According to tradition, if you see a spider on Halloween, a loved one is watching over you.
Girls also believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
13. Your ghost costume isn't authentic till you poop in it!
Disgusting as it sounds, according to custom, it is believed that ghosts wear the same clothes they die in, and an involuntary effect of death is defecation.
14. It's very rare for Halloween to be a full moon night
Although it is predicted that 2020 will be such a year.
15. Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween
One of the most famously mysterious magicians to have ever lived, strangely died on the spookiest day of the year.
16. Halloween was influenced by the Romans
The agricultural influence of Halloween comes from the ancient Roman festival Pomona, which celebrated the harvest goddess of the same name.
17. Some animal shelters won't allow the adoption of black cats around Halloween
Animal protections fear that they will either be cursed or sacrificed!
18. Halloween is the sweetest holiday
Over 20 million Pounds of candy corn is sold each year! Add the hard candies, chocolates gums to it and so many sweets are sold for no other holiday!
19. Snickers are the favourite Halloween candy
Followed by Reese's and M&M's
20. Halloween has been celebrated for over 6000 years
It is thought to have originated around 4000 BC!