Image Credit: PBS / Edited via Photoshop
As the year turns, Halloween is now once again coming for us to celebrate.
Halloween is a festival that has a long history, it has plenty of traditions that we still follow today. From Trick-or-Treating, Jack-O'-Lanterns, putting on costumes, decorating our homes and workplace with spooky, creepy, and fun designs, and many more. But have you ever thought of where this tradition came from, their origins and how they came to be?
Here is a short video about the history of Halloween and its traditions.
Video Credit: Mythology & Fiction Explained via Youtube
In this blog, I will show you the truth about Halloween traditions that you didn't know about.
Image Credit: Travel With Lakshmi
Ghosts are believed to be the souls or the spirits of the deceased that appears in the living world. They can be invisible or barely visible to the human eyes. They may appear like wisps of smoke to appearing like how they used to look like.
The origins of ghost can be traced back to the Celtic people, who believed that during Samhain, the time of the year where harvest ends and winter begins, the boundary between the living world and the other world, where supernatural beings reside, such beings as demons, angels, devils, spirits, faeries and more, weakens, which allows them to access our world from theirs and mingle with the living people. Later on, Christian missionaries introduced the concept of "All Souls Day", which perpetuated the idea that on November 2, the souls and spirits of the dead mingle with the living.
Image Credit: Mass.Gov Blog
Jack-O-Lanterns are gourds or pumpkins that are carved with different faces, be it happy, sad, goofy, angry, scary, or creepy, then candles are put inside the pumpkin to make a lantern.
The legend about Jack-o-lanterns can be tied to Ireland's legend about "Stingy Jack". The story tells us about a drunkard of a man known as Stingy Jack. He was known as a deceiver and manipulator, one day Satan overheard the tale about Stingy Jack and decided to pay him a visit and see if his reputation is true.
When Satan visited Jack, Jack was able to deceive Satan into turning into a silver coin and then trap him inside his pocket with a crucifix, unable to change back into his real form, Satan agreed to Jack's bargain of not taking his soul for the next ten years.
Ten years later, Jack once again met Satan, he seemingly accepted that his soul would now be taken, once again tricked satan. He asked Satan to get him an apple from an apple tree to fill his belly when Satan went climbing the tree, Jack surrounded the base of the tree with crucifixes, trapping Satan on the tree. Jack made another deal with the devil to never take his soul to hell, Satan agreed to the deal and left Jack alone.
Years later, Jack eventually died and found himself preparing to enter Heaven, but he was stopped. He was told that due to his sins, he cannot enter Heaven. Not allowed to enter Heaven, Jack went to Hell to ask to be admitted inside, but due to their deal, Satan is not allowed to take Jack's soul. To warn others, Satan gave Jack an ember inside a turnip to light his path, from that day on, until the end of times, Jack is doomed to roam endlessly with only an ember inside a turnip to light his path.
Soon, people began to carve frightening faces into gourds to scare off evil spirits, such as Jack of the Lantern.
☞Dressing Up In Costumes☜
Image Credit: Amberbaltics
Dressing up in costumes is one of the fun traditions we have for Halloween. dressing up as someone else as well as seeing other people in their own costumes is both fun and exciting. But where did this fun tradition came from?
The truth about the matter once again connects with the ancient Celts and the festival of Samhain. The Celts would ward off ghosts and evil spirits by dressing up in costumes to disguise themselves as spirits.
Image Credit: The Telegraph
Trick-or-Treating is one of the most favorite tradition during Halloween. Everyone will agree that free candy is awesome, but how did this tradition of giving away candy come from?
There is no definite answer to this one, but many believe that it came from the time when the Celts would leave out food during Samhain to placate the ghosts and spirits wandering around the living world on that night. Pretty soon, people began dressing up in costumes to emulate these spirits in exchange for free foods and drinks.
☞Black and Orange Color For Halloween☜
Black and orange color for Halloween has been the traditional color of Halloween for a long time ago, but where did these colors come from?
These colors came from, once again, the Celts. In the Celtic festival of Samhain, black is known to represent death while orange represented the harvest color of autumn.
Image Credit: Valu Home Centers
Apple bobbing is a game that is often played during Halloween. It is a game where a tub or a large basin is filled with water and apples. The apples will float on the water and the players must try to catch the apples with their teeth only.
The tradition of apple bobbing comes from the Roman festival honoring the goddess of agriculture and abundance, Pomona. In this festival young unmarried people do a ritual where an apple is either floating in water or hanging on a string, the first one to bite into the apple is the next one allowed to marry. When the Roman empire invaded Britain, the Pomona festival was merged with the Samhain festival, which in turn carried on to when Samhain became Halloween.
Image Credit: Mental Floss
Black cats are often seen as a bringer of bad luck or good luck depending on the country. While most western countries see black cats as a symbol of evil omens, some countries do not see them that way. The Scots that black cats bring good fortune, it is also considered as a bringer of good luck in Britain and Japan.
The reason why black cats are often associated with evil omens and spookiness is that in the Middle Ages, they were considered as the symbol of the Devil. Not only that, cats, especially black cats, has been typically known as familiar of witches.
☞Candles and Bonfires☜
Image Credit: Tripping
Candles and bonfires during Halloween is a tradition that can be attributed to the Celts when during the festival of Samhain, they would light up huge bonfires in order to light the way for souls seeking to go to the afterlife.
Image Credit: Science Daily
Bats has always been attributed to Halloween, most of the time it symbolizes spookiness or even vampires. Bats has always been present even at the earliest celebrations of Halloween, this can also be attributed to the Celts. During Samhain, the Celts will light up bonfires to help guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife, this bonfires typically attracted insects, and these insects attracted bats. Ever since then, bats have been seen as the harbingers of death and has been associated with the festival Samhain, which in turn is also associated with Halloween.
Candy has always been a big part of trick-or-treating during Halloween, but did you know, before the 1950s, the handouts given to children doing trick-or-treating has not always been candies. They were given coins, toys, fruits, and nuts. It was only in the 1950s that candy companies decided to market small, individually wrapped sweets for Halloween, and people decided to use these confections because it was more convenient.
☞One Last Thing☜
Image Credit: Children's Diabetes Foundation
As Halloween approaches, I hope that you enjoyed some of these Halloween facts that I've brought you. Enjoy your Halloween and I wish you to have a Happy Halloween!
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