The infamous holiday of Halloween can be traced back 2,000 years to when the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain took place, which marked the end of the summer. The event was observed on the night of October 31st with a wide range of traditions that are still common amongst adults and children all over the world.
During the 7th century, Christians were abundant and Pope Boniface IV made November 1st the date to celebrate All Saints’ Day, which paid homage to the deaths of saints and martyrs. All-Hallows Eve would later morph into Halloween. This brought together the ways of Samhain, which celebrated using parades and bonfires. Individuals donned costumes that resembled saints, angels, and devils.
During the 19th century, America would enjoy its first taste of Halloween, as immigrants from Europe shared their traditions of dressing in costume to celebrate the holiday. Various cultures and customs evolved and an array of other traditions transformed as a result. However, the most known of the traditions was associated with the Irish and English , this was “trick-or-treating.”
The 20th century brought a host of changes to Halloween, which dealt with games and parties that included both adults and children. Today, when it comes to commercial dollars , Halloween is one of the top three holidays to consider with all of the candy, decorations, and costumes that are purchased during the holiday.
When it comes to Halloween, have you ever wondered what the carving of jack-o’-lanterns represented in regards to the holiday? The tradition originated through the carving of faces that depicted lost souls. These were fashioned out of pumpkins and actually turnips. A candle was situated inside of the carvings, which created a glow to the faces. The Halloween lanterns were positioned on the doorsteps in an attempt to keep evil spirits away. Using the pumpkins as lanterns is a tradition that came from an ancient Celtic custom that European immigrants brought to America.
If you think you are a wizard at carving pumpkins, did you know that the fastest time to carve one of these faces was 54.72 seconds, which was accomplished by Stephen Clarke of the United States , taking place on October 23, 2001? Each year, more than 93% of kids participate in trick-or-treating. It is said that an estimated 36.8 million trick-or-treaters take to the streets on Halloween, ranging in age from five to 13. Interestingly, the well known magician named Harry Houdini passed away in Detroit after he suffered a ruptured appendix, which took place n Halloween in 1926.
For many years, pumpkins have served as quite the significant reminder of Halloween. While some people look at a pumpkin and think that it is a vegetable, it is actually a fruit that originated in Central America. It actually comes from a Greek word that means large melon. Did you know that 90% of a pumpkin is comprised of water?