Halloween is believed to be one of the oldest celebrations in the world, dating back to over 2000 years ago from a Celtic festival in the UK. Halloween is celebrated on 31st October every year.
Halloween (Hallowe’en is in fact the correct spelling) is known as ‘The Day of the Dead’ in Mexico instead of Halloween, in other countries it is known as: All Hallows Eve, Samhain, All Hallowtide and The Feast of the Dead, which all sound rather spooky to me!
“When Christianity came to England and the rest of Europe, 1st November became All Saints Day – a day dedicated to all those saints who didn’t have a special day of their own. They performed a mass called ‘All hallows mass’ and the night before became known as All Hallows E’en and eventually Hallowe’en or Halloween.”
People worldwide spend more than £150 billion during Halloween on costumes, decorations, food and parties, making it the 2nd most expensive holiday – the most expensive being Christmas.
The colours black and orange are Halloween colours because black is associated with death and orange is associated with harvests, because Halloween marks the end of harvest.
99% of all pumpkins sold are used as Jack O’ Lanterns at Halloween, which makes me think they must taste horrible if people would rather use them as decoration. Growing pumpkins can be a rewarding hobby; the top prize money for the biggest giant pumpkin is as much as £15,000. The biggest pumpkin in the world weighed 1,528 pounds. This gigantic gourd was weighed in October 2008 at a pumpkin festival in Half Moon Bay, California.
Samhainophobia is the name for the fear of Halloween.
It’s believed that the Irish started the tradition of Trick or Treating. This was done to in preparation for ‘All Hallow’s Eve’, the Irish visited neighbours and asked for contributions of food for a feast in their town.
People have believed for centuries that light keeps away ghosts and ghouls. Making a pumpkin lantern with a candle inside may keep you safe from all the spirits flying around on Halloween. People also believe that ringing a bell on Halloween will scare evil spirits away, and if you see a spider on this night, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching over you – don’t ask me who believes this, but I would imagine their intelligence would be rather low!