17 Fascinating Facts About Halloween for Kids to Enjoy During the Spookiest Season!
17 Halloween facts for kids that celebrate the spookiest season
1. History of Halloween
Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a holiday celebrated every year on the 31st of October. Its history dates back to ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.
The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. This is where the spooky side of Halloween originates from.
Today, Halloween has evolved into a more community-centered celebration. But some of the symbols and rituals still echo its grim roots.
Here’s a tale from history to set the mood: A group of Celtic priests wanted to ward off evil spirits on Samhain. They did this by dressing up in costumes made from animal skins and heads, and performed rituals around bonfires.
2. The Jack-O’-Lantern’s Origins
Did you know that traditional Halloween jack-o’-lanterns weren’t originally carved out of pumpkins? These first spooky lanterns were in fact made from turnips! This ancient tradition actually stems from an Irish myth about ‘Stingy Jack’ who, after making a deal with the Devil, was denied entrance to both heaven and hell when he died.
According to the fable, hapless Jack was left to roam the earth with only a burning coal to light his way, which he carried in a carved-out turnip. Immigrants to America found that pumpkins, a fruit native to the states, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns – and so this has now become the most popular choice for the iconic Halloween decoration.
The tradition of carving faces into vegetables dates back to the Celts. As part of their autumnal celebration, they wanted to light the way to their homes for the good spirits, so they carved faces into vegetables such as turnips and squash.
Visualize this: Imagine a cold, dark night where only a few homes are lit. There on the porch is a ghoulish face, illuminated from within, purported to guard the home from evil entities.
3. Halloween and the Candy Craze
It’s hard to imagine a Halloween without treats. But do you know how candy became such an integral part of this holiday? The tradition of “trick-or-treating” was first reported in the United States in 1927, in Blackie, Alberta, Canada. And at that time, the treats were not necessarily candy.
In the beginning, it was more about the tricks than the treats. Pranks, like soaping windows and gates, were a big part of the celebration. Eventually, in the 1950s, candy companies saw an opportunity to promote their products during Halloween, and ‘trick or treat’ came to mean a choice between giving candy or having a mischief played on you.
Unwrap this: Just picture kids going from door to door in goofy, ghostly getups, uttering the phrase “Trick or Treat”. It is a sight that seems quintessential to many neighborhoods across North America every October.
4. Halloween Costumes and Their Significance
Do you know why people dress up for Halloween? The tradition of donning costumes on Halloween dates back to the ancient Celts who believed that disguising themselves would protect them from the spirits who roamed the earth on All Hallows Eve. They thought that by dressing up, they could fool the spirits into thinking they were fellow ghosts.
Costume wearing gradually evolved over the centuries from this act of self-preservation to a way of celebrating and having fun. Today, Halloween costumes are a big industry with options ranging from scary characters to pop culture icons. But whatever the choice of disguise, each costume pays homage to the ghostly origins of Halloween.
Can you picture this? Think about how exciting it is to decide what you’re going to be for Halloween—a creepy witch, a favorite superhero, or maybe even a famous actor. It’s such a fun process!
This concise table summarises the information shared above:
|Origin of Halloween
|Samhain, a Celtic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter
|An Irish folklore about ‘Stingy Jack’ that led to the tradition of carving faces in fruit
|Halloween & the candy craze
|The practice of Trick-or-Treating emerged in the early 20th century, later popularised by candy companies
|Significance of Halloween costumes
|Ancient Celts donned costumes to avoid being recognised by wandering spirits