It’s that time of the year again, when pumpkins are suddenly popular, freaking your neighbor out is being considered cool, and having missing body parts is part of the whole celebration. Yup….it’s called Halloween. The perfect time for the freaks to blend into society, and to get your heart rate up by at least 100% thanks to all the scary figures who come and ring your bell for treats. But there is much more history behind Halloween!
Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s day
Halloween’s origins come from a Celtic festival for the dead called Samhain. They believed that the ghosts of the dead were walking around on Earth during this holiday. So in order to please the roaming spirits, they people dressed up and left treats out on their front door. It is true that the Celts were not only based in Ireland when this custom started around the first century B.C., but it is nice to know that the Irish did invent the jack-o’-lantern which is more or less a Halloween prototype.
Jack-o’-lanterns were originally made out of turnips, beets and potatoes
Yup, that’s right, the pumpkins surely wasn’t the original one! The name of it dates back to old folklore, where Stingy Jack put some coal into a turnip to become a lantern, hence the name Jack-o’-lantern. Based on the myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirit of the night. So why switch to pumpkins? Good question! Probably because they are easier to carve due to their size, or maybe because they didn’t want the scary faces to look like a potato head…who knows.
Dance for your treat
Most experts would say that the trick-or-treating would date back to the European practice of “mumming” or “guysing”, in which the participants (wearing costumes of course) would go door-to-door and put up a performance. In exchange for the dance, song and/or plays they would get treats. Most of the early trick-or-treaters were poor and actually needed money, but soon the wealthy kids followed, just to get some candy.