With All Hallows’ Eve aka Halloween coming up and us here at ATL wanting to keep with up the festivities, we’ve decided to write this list of “7 Halloween Facts You May Have Not Known About.’ So without further ado, let’s get to it.
Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween as we know it
Halloween most likely originated from the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain, which in their days was a ritualistic festival that honored the pagan gods of the harvest, marked the beginning of fall and also the end of a year.
Jack-o’-lanterns have their roots in a sinister, tragic fable
In Celtic folklore, there’s a story of a farmer named Jack who tricked the devil and as a result was banned from both heaven and hell after he died. Having no choice but to wander around in the darkness of purgatory, Jack made a lantern from a turnip and a burning lump of coal that the devil tossed to him from hell. Jack, according to the story, used the lantern to guide his lost soul; as such, the Celts believed that placing Jack-o’-lanterns outside would help guide lost spirits home when they wander the streets on Halloween. Originally made using a hollowed-out turnip with a small candle inside, Jack-o’-lanterns’ could also have frightening faces carved into them to scare evil spirits away. When the Irish came to America they brought the tradition with them. Since turnips were hard to come by in the states at the time, pumpkins were used as a substitute.
Spiders not so creepy, crawly?
A common source of fear; spiders along with bats and black cats are among Halloween staples. One superstition holds that if you spot a spider on Halloween, the spirit of a deceased loved one is watching over you. How sweet?
Origins of the Witch
The stereotypical image of the old haggard witch stirring a cauldron actually stems from a Pagan goddess known as “the Crone,” who was honored during Samhain. The Crone was also known as “the Old One” and the “Earth Mother,” who symbolized wisdom, change, and the turning of the seasons. The Celts believed that after death, all souls went into the Crone’s cauldron, which symbolized the Earth Mother’s womb. There, the souls awaited reincarnation, as the goddess’ stirring allowed for new souls to enter the cauldron and old souls to be reborn. That image of the cauldron of life has now been replaced by the steaming, bubbling, ominous brew.
Halloween costumes weren’t always worn for fun.
It was believed that during Samhain, the veil between our world and the spirit world was thinnest, and that the ghosts of the deceased could mingle with the living. The superstition was that the visiting ghosts could disguise themselves in human form and knock on your door asking for money or food. If you turned them away, you risked being cursed or haunted. Another Celtic myth was that dressing up as a ghoul would fool the evil spirits into thinking that you were one of them.
Halloween is the second most commercial holiday in the US
Second only to Christmas, Halloween is the biggest grossing holiday of the year when it comes to spending that money. Americans spend about an average of $6.9 billion on Halloween – most of it for candy, costumes and parties. A surprisingly big chunk is also invested in Halloween costumes for pets. as 330 million bucks will be spent on pet costumes.
A quarter of all U.S. candy sales each year occur around Halloween.
It should be no surprise as well, knowing already now how much is spent on Halloween that out of the average $6.9 billion spent annually in the US alone, $2.08 billion are spent on candy. Roughly equal to about 600 million pounds of sweets.
Those were “7 Halloween Facts You May Have Not Known About”. It may be coming up or may no longer be Halloween but anyways, for all of you out there who will be celebrating and trick or treating, stay safe and Happy Halloween.