We have been celebrating Halloween now for a very long time but do we know why everyone dresses in different costumes on this day. Why are there carved pumpkins in everyone’s house and why are they so important? And why is this spooky day celebrated on the last night of October month? There are so many questions like these which we have never even thought to ask ourselves, but this time we’ve uncovered several facts and myths about Halloween.
1. Dressing up on Halloween
Do you know why people dress up in those scary costumes on Halloween? Well, this is an ancient tradition which was started by Celts. They believed that during Samhain ( the pagan version of Halloween) the wall between our world and the paranormal world was porous and spirits could get through, so in order to confuse or ward off the evil spirits, people started dressing up as demons.
2. Carved pumpkins or turnips
The origin of Jack-O’-Lanterns comes from Celtic folklore in which a poor old man used to play tricks on the devil. The devil then forced him to wander in purgatory and denied entry to both hell and heaven. He was given a burning lump of coal from hell by the devil, Jack used this coal and made a lantern from a turnip to guide his lost soul.
So, actually, it was a turnip and not a pumpkin but since turnips were hard to come by in the U.S., they used pumpkins as a substitute for guiding lost souls.
Trick-or-treating has been going on since medieval times, earlier it was known as “guising” in Scotland and Ireland and “souling” in England. During earlier times poor children and adults used to dress up in fancy costumes and requested for food or money in exchange for saying prayers for the home’s dead relatives. Today this same tradition is followed by children in which they get dressed and go door-to-door, asking for candies.
4. Halloween bread
There is a tradition of making Halloween bread in Ireland. This bread is known as barmbrack or just “brack.” It is a sweet loaf of bread containing dark and golden raisins in addition to a small toy or ring. Just like the king cake at Mardi Gras, tradition dictates the person who finds the item will be bestowed upon by good fortune like he would be married within the year.
5. The black cat superstition and full moon
During Medieval times, black cats were considered from the family of witches and you will be cursed with bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. This superstition was spread by Puritan Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, and some believed the legend that witches could transform into black cats and back.
It is quite rare to witness a full moon on a Halloween night and the last time there was a full moon was on October 31, 2001. Now again in 2020, there is a full moon on October 31 which will make this Halloween a more spooky one.
With Halloween just around the corner, you and your friends would probably be busy figuring out how you’re going to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve during these unusual times. It’s probably safe to say, Halloween 2020 may look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic but there are some cool ways, like a virtual Halloween party to celebrate it with your friends. So, take out your favourite costume and surprise your friends with these fascinating Halloween facts.