Halloween is just around the corner. Soon we will see children in unusual costumes knocking at the door, saying “trick or treat,” and you have to give them candies and other sweets.
Stories about ghouls, ghosts and witches begin to appear in social media, on television and even in friendly conversations. People are becoming more concerned about the paranormal phenomena in one form or another, following a tradition that has existed for many
But have you ever wondered about the origins of all this hype? Where did it start? What does this frightening holiday mean? What other incredible things have associations with this paranormal celebration? As you know, curiosity is in the human blood, so we would like to introduce you these surprisingly interesting facts about Halloween:
25. In many countries, such as France and Australia, Halloween is just a undesirable, hypercommercialized American trend, nothing more than that.
24. And who can blame them, taking in account the fact that Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday in America, as Christmas is the first one.
How successful is this awful holiday? Halloween is an income generating industry bringing annually 6 billion dollar
22. However, Halloween originates from around 4000 BC. It means that Halloween has been celebrated for over 6000 years and is one of the oldest holidays in the world.
21. Halloween celebrates the Christian feast of All Saints Day Eve (All Hallows Eve) (for which follows All Saints Day on November 1). However, the Christian holiday, rather of all, rooted in the Celtic feast, Samhein, or a number of other pre-christian harvest holidays.
20. The strange holiday was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who celebrated harvest festival around the fire, telling each other ghost stories, singing songs, dancing and making fortune telling.
19. Not surprisingly, some of the existing Halloween traditions also have roots in ancient Celtic traditions. For example, the ancient Celts believed that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They started wearing masks and costumes to hide the fact that they were humans.
18. The tradition of Jack-O-Lantern has also come to us from ancient times, although the true origin of the tradition is uncertain. However, some believe that part of its origin is derived from Celtic stories about a man named Jack. Jack got fraudulently a promise from the devil never to take away his soul. After Jack died, because of his sins, he could not go to heaven. Since Satan had agreed not to take his soul, he could not go to hell or to heaven. Therefore, the devil gave Jack a hellish ember. After that Jack put ember in a turnip in which he cut holes and which he carried with him.
In the UK, Jack-O-Lantern is traditionally made from turnips. Irish immigrants brought Halloween to the USA. Moreover, due to the fact that turnip cost quite expensive, the Americans used pumpkins
16. And now they have such events as mass pumpkin carving, which is Guinness World Record. Halloween enthusiasts from Highwood, Illinois, broke the record in 2011 when they simultaneously lit 30,919 jack-o-lanterns.
15. Another amazing record that concerns the good old Jack-O-Lantern is that, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest time for which someone cut in the face of a pumpkin, is 20.1 seconds. David Finkle from the UK set this record on 7 October 2010 during the filming of the Halloween show for the BBC channel.
14. Perhaps one of our most beloved Halloween traditions, “Trick or Treat” evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting food and treats near the house, in order to calm the spirits who roamed the streets on Samhain’s day, the holy holiday which symbolized the end of the Celtic calendar year.
13. However, before that there was Souling, the medieval Christian predecessor of the modern game “Trick or Treat”, during which the poor went door to door on All Saints Day (November 1) offering prayers for the dead in exchange for food.
12. However, not all are fans of “Trick or Treat “. For instance, the authorities of city Belleville, Illinois, forbid it for children over 12 years old. Teenagers can be fined from 100 to 1000 dollars for going from door to door.
11. However, most large cities see tourist advantages in large Halloween events and Halloween in general. Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans are the traditional hot spots for celebrating Halloween in the USA. And New Orleans boasts a world record for the biggest party on Halloween, which was simultaneously visited by 17,777 costume revelers.
This is good news, unless you have been diagnosed with Samainophobia (which is the fear of Halloween)
9. However, given the fact that on Halloween night the chance of that children will die in a traffic accident doubles, this fear doesn’t seem so crazy.
8. If we talk about celebrations, do you know that the word bonfire has its roots in Halloween? During the pre-celebration of Halloween or Samhayna, people lit bonfires to ensure that the sun would return after a long winter. Often druids priests threw cattle bones into fire and, consequently, the “bone fire” became the “bonfire”.
7. And if we have already started talking about the origin of the words, did you know that the word “witch” comes from the old English word “wicce”, which means “wise woman.”
In fact, people respected Wiccans a lot at the time and, according to the popular belief, the witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbath, on Halloween night.
However, to date, witches are considered bad creatures
6. And a lot of people consider their black companion cats as negative animals. Black cats have a bad reputation on Halloween because they once were like subordinates and defenders of the powers of the witches. However, in England, the belief is opposite. The English believe that white cats bring bad luck, and black cats bring good luck.
5. In addition to black cats, owls are also popular Halloween characters. In medieval Europe, owls were like witches, and owl hooting meant that someone was dying.
And let’s not forget the scarecrow, which symbolizes the ancient agricultural holiday roots
3. Halloween is not always a symbol of witches, black cats, scarecrows and pumpkins. For example, the Mexicans celebrate Days of the Dead (Días de los Muertos) on the day of the Christian All Saints Day (November 1). And also on the All Souls Day (November 2) instead of Halloween. Citizens dress like ghouls and walk down the street.
2. It’s partly a random fact, but did you know that the 1978 film titled “Halloween” had such a limited budget that they used the cheapest mask they could only find for the character Michael Meyers? It was a mask of William Shatner from Star Trek.
1. A simple, but terrible coincidence: Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who had ever lived in our world. Oddly enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night. It happened because of a rupture of appendicitis caused by three punches in the stomach.