Halloween or All Saints’ Eve and various other names, is a celebration of all things spooky. In the US, it’s surrounded by a few unusual traditions like trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins into Jack o’ lantern, attending Halloween costume party and many more.
Here are a few fascinating and spooky facts as well as other fun tidbits about this unique holiday.
- Halloween is the second highest-grossing popular holiday after Christmas.
- “Halloween” is short form of “Hallows’ Eve” or “Hallows’ Evening,” which was the evening before All Hallows’ (sanctified or holy) Day or Hallowmas on November 1. To convert pagans, the Christian church concluded that Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) should assimilate sacred pagan holidays that fell on or around October 31.
- Halloween is believed to have arisen around 4000 BC, which indicates Halloween has been nearby for over 6,000 years.
- As per the Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a greedy man named Jack. He tricked the devil several times, also was forbidden entry into both heaven and hell. He was doomed to wander in the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their trails.
- The first Jack O’Lanterns were made from turnips.
- It is believed that Ireland is the birthplace of Halloween.
- Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
- The giant pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with an 836 lb. pumpkin.
- A strange belief of Scottish girls is that they could see pictures of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Another theory is that they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween.
- A spooky tradition is that, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he/she will see a witch at midnight.
- Trick-or-treating emerged from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to satisfy spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain. This is a sacred festival that signified the end of the Celtic calendar year.
- The most extended haunted house in the world is “Factory of Terror” in Canton, Ohio.
- How many of you are born on October 31? A child born on Halloween is assumed to have the ability to talk to spirits.
- The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” Wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
- Halloween has variously been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Snap-Apple Night, and Summer’s End.
If you take India, with an average of two-three festivals every month booking up our calendar schedules, do we want one more to crowd our holidays? Especially in October which brings the celebration of Durga Pujo, Dussehra, Diwali back to back, the idea of another festival succeeding Diwali times indeed sounds less favourable and extremely tiring. Anyways despite all this, we still do have tiny winy celebrations.