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Halloween is officially round the corner and there is so much excitement about the selection of the best costumes, eating candies and chocolates, trick or treating, carving jack-o'-lanterns with the kids and talking about the spooky spirits! There is however very little that we all know about Halloween and some interesting fun facts associated with the festival! Want to know more about them?
Here are ten interesting and fun facts that you might not know about Halloween!
Jack o'lantern” derives its origin from the Irish legend of Stingy Jack: According to the Irish Folklore, an Irish man named Stingy Jack tricked the devil on numerous occasions and as a result was not allowed into heaven or hell. The Devil made Jack’s soul roam around Earth for all eternity with just a burning ember to light his way. Jack put the burning ember into the very first “jack-o-lantern,” in order to ward off any evil including g the devil himself.
Trick-or-treating comes from“souling”: Poor people would knock on doors asking for food such as small breads called soul cakes in exchange for saying prayers for the dead relatives of the household. It was also called souling or guising in Scotland and Ireland. Today the same tradition can be witnessed as children get dressed up and ask for candies visiting houses in their neighborhoods.
Bobbin' for Apples: Bobbin or trying to grab an apple floating in a tub of water is a known game played by people of all ages during Halloween. It is a simple fortune-telling game wherein the person who is able to grab the apple successfully asks for a wish to come true.
Halloween originated from an ancient Celtic festival: The origin of the tradition of Halloween comes from an ancient pagan festival called Samhain which was celebrated by the ancient Celtic people in the United Kingdom, Ireland and northwestern France. It marked the end of the harvest season and a time when the fine line between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.
Dressing up in costumes used to be a trick to hide from ghosts: The tradition of dressing up in costumes originated from the ancient Celtic tradition wherein people used to disguise themselves as demons or ghosts so as to avoid being recognized as humans by the real spirits who returned to earth and wandered the streets on the eve of Halloween.
Jack-o-lanterns were originally carved into turnips: People living in the British Isles used to carve Jack-'o-lanterns from turnips and not pumpkins. When the immigrants introduced the tradition to America, the native pumpkin was more readily available then turnips giving way to today’s jack-o-lanterns.
Cats have been part of the history of Halloween since long: During the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, priests used cats as part of their rituals to predict the future. Black cats are also looked at with negative connotations as they were once believed to have protected their master’s dark powers.
The custom of decorating with black and orange for Halloween: The color combination of Black and orange had been used by the Celtics to gain strength for the long winter that lay ahead while celebrating the dead during the Samhain festival. The color orange symbolizes strength, survival and endurance whereas black is the color of darkness, gloom and death.
New York City throws the biggest Halloween parade in America: New York City attracts more than two million spectators and thousands of participants during the biggest Halloween parade in America. The event is only getting bigger and better each year.
Spot a witch: If you want to see a witch at midnight on Halloween, just wear your clothes inside out and try to walk backwards at the same time. You might get a glimpse of a witch roaming around on Halloween night.
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