The spookiest season of the year is fast approaching and you surely have plenty of fun Halloween activities on the agenda.
You’ve probably been celebrating Halloween all your life, but there may still be a lot you don’t know about the holiday. To help you refresh your knowledge, we’ve put together some spooky and surprising Halloween facts!
-The tradition of Halloween comes from Samhain, an ancient pagan festival celebrated by the Celts. It took place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and north-western France.
-The word “witch” comes from the Old English “wicce”, which means “wise woman”. “Wiccans” were actually viewed in a positive light and their opinions were highly respected. This could have been very useful in Salem…
-Initially, the Irish and Scottish carved turnips as a way of remembering the souls of the deceased. When they immigrated to the US, they found that pumpkins were much easier to carve and the rest is history.
-Trick or treating began in areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The poor went from house to house to “do the soul.” They called him that because they asked for small loaves called “soul cakes” in exchange for a prayer.
-Halloween costumes arose so revelers could mingle with the spirits when attending pagan festivals. This was to scare the demons when they saw that mere mortals made fun of their appearance.
-Although the Day of the Dead is often associated with Halloween, they are not really the same thing. The Mexican holiday dates back more than 3,000 years and is celebrated to honor deceased loved ones.
-Although Halloween was brought to the US by Irish and Scottish immigrants, the rest of Europe didn’t start celebrating the holiday until decades later. Although many European countries now celebrate the holiday, it has not become as commercialized as it is in the US.
-Black cats, spiders, and bats are symbols of Halloween due to their historical ties to “Wiccans.” These animals were thought to be the companions of witches in the Middle Ages.