Did you know that Halloween is the second most money-making holiday in the world, coming second only to Christmas?!
It is a time of year for fun and mischief, parties, scary films and evil spirits. Furthermore it is a great time for the family to get involved in house-decorating and baking. There are so many things you can do and here are some props for a truly spooky Halloween.
I’ve also included some facts that I thought were very interesting about Halloween, maybe you already know them?
Also, please remember that statistically, Halloween is a night where children are especially vulnerable to being involved with car accidents – tragic and horrible I know, but I really feel I must include this whilst I have your attention. Drink-driving is commonplace on Halloween and Christmas and other major holidays, and children’s costumes often mean poor visibility!
A History of Halloween
Today, Halloween is one of the most commercial and profitable times of year celebrated. Thousands of people celebrate this holiday – Christian, Pagan and other religions as well as folks who do not consider themselves religious in the slightest.
Trick or treating, dressing up and parties are everywhere you look, but how many people know the true roots of Halloween?
It is generally agreed that Halloween is ALWAYS celebrated on the 31st October every year, though the exact origins of this holiday are vastly disputed. Some claim that the church, which at the time was arguably the worlds most powerful organisation, began to try and have Halloween (and therefore several significant pagan holidays that followed), thought of as Christian holidays, which would therefore change what it meant to people.
Others argue against this and claim that it was simply a day of the year, originally called “All Hallows Eve”, which marked the eve of All Saints Day on the 1st November, which celebrated the lives and work of all the named Saints. Halloween is considered to have been a reminder of the margin between life and death, and the belief that there is something in-between.
In some parts of the world lanterns are lit and food is offered to spirits who are lost or angry, to guide them and to help them find rest and peace. Other countries fear the night of Halloween and consider it a night where bad luck, bad omens and evil creatures, monsters and ghouls will come to anyone who ventures far from home.
Ten Facts You May Not Know About Halloween
1. Did you know that owls have as much significance as witches and crows? In medieval times, owls were believed to be witches in disguise and when an owl call was heard it was believed that someone was about to meet their untimely demise.
2. It is believed that Halloween was originally and first celebrated in Ireland.
3. Halloween is the second most profitable holiday in the world after Christmas! Ok you probably could have guessed that, so I’ll throw in another fact – the orange and black colour theme commonly associated with Halloween is there for a reason. Orange represents the Autumn and the end of summer and black is associated with death, which reminds us that Halloween was originally spent celebrating the dead.
4. Did you know that the trick-or-treating that is commonly seen today most likely originated from the poor going door to door on Halloween, offering prayers for the dead of households in exchange for what what then known as “soul cakes”.
5. Scarecrows are often seen and associated with Halloween. This is a symbolisation of the agricultural roots that this holiday has.
6. It is estimated that Halloween has been celebrated in some form since 4000 B.C – this means that Halloween has been celebrated annually for over 6000 years!
7. In Hong Kong, Japan, Halloween is called ‘Yue Lan’, which translates in English to “the festival of hungry ghosts”. During this time, lights and fires are lit and food and gifts are offered to souls and spirits who may be roaming the earth, looking for revenge.
8. Everyone knows about Jack o Lanterns, right? But did you know that this tradition was derived from a farmer named Jack who was said to have tricked the Devil, and folklore said that his punishment was to roam the Earth forever more with only a lantern, to lead night-time wanderers away from their path… Chilling…
9. Think SAFETY! Children are more likely to be killed in car accidents on Halloween than any other night of the year. So PLEASE if you are reading this, ensure that your children know their road safety and are sensible when trick or treating! Young children should never be out without an adult being able to see them.
10. The Celts believed that dressing up as ghouls and monsters would trick other spirits wandering the night into not noticing them. This is the origins of dressing up for Halloween!