Did You Know?
The word Halloween is an abbreviated version of the phrases All Hallows’ Eve or All Hallows’ Evening.
Halloween comes from an ancient pagan festival celebrated by Celtic people over 2,000 years ago called Samhain. The festival took place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and northwestern France. Samhain means “summer’s end” and marks the beginning of winter. Samhain is also thought to celebrate the beginning of the Celtic year. The
Celts believed that Samhain was a time when the dead could walk among the living.
Trick-or-treating began in areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland. People went house-to-house “souling” – asking for small breads called “soul cakes” in exchange for prayer. Adults also went door-to-door asking for food and drinks in exchange for a song or dance.
Jack-o’-lanterns are the symbol of Halloween. People in Ireland and Scotland originally used beets or turnips as lanterns on Halloween.
According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths. The name jack-o’-lantern can also be derived from the night watchman who would light the street lanterns every evening.
The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
The first known mention of trick-or-treating in print in North America occurred in 1927 in Blackie, Alberta, Canada.
Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and,
along with brown and gold, stands for the harvest and autumn. Black is typically a symbol of death and
darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life
Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota, are the self-proclaimed Halloween capitals of the world.
Boston, Massachusetts, holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once (30,128).
The Village Halloween parade in New York City is the largest Halloween parade in the United States. The parade includes 50,000 participants and draws over 2 million spectators.
Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C., which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years
Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits. The Celts believed that disguising themselves this way would allow them to escape the notice of the real spirits wandering the streets during Samhain.
Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches.