The Top 5 Spookiest Things About Halloween
The History of Halloween
Halloween is also a blending of the celebrations from different cultures that marks the end of the growing season with an introduction to the coming of the winter months. Folk traditions tell of the day when the transparent veil between the living and the dead would be removed so that ghosts and ghouls would walk among the living. There are Celtic, Roman, Christian, and Catholic influences within the holiday, then it spread to North America.
Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C. and has had a misrepresentation of it's rich and multicultural history. Halloween is known as All Hallow's Eve or All Saints' Eve, which is an annual holiday that is celebrated on October 31st. The celebration of Halloween began in ancient, pre-Christian times as a Celtic ceremony for the dead. The sacred festival was called Samhain (Samhainophobia is the fear of this holiday) and it translates to "summer's end." Celtic October 31 marked the evening before the beginning of the next season and also the beginning of a new year in the Celtic calendar. The year was divided up based on four holidays during this time in history, as opposed to the modern four seasons although each division was still affiliated with a season. During this time period, November 1 was the beginning of the cold season, which was a time of hardship. Halloween, according to the Celtic calendar, was during the winter season.
October 31st of Every Year
Halloween is the evening before the Western Christian and Catholic feast of All Hallows' Day or All Saints' Day. The Catholics refer to this evening as a holy evening with a special vigil mass being held in observance. All Hallow's Day or All Saints' Day is celebrated on , then followed by the celebration of All Soul's Day on November 2nd. All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day are dedicated to people who have lived in the past years. Those holidays are purely celebrated to remember the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. Halloween is on October 31, All Saint's Eve and All Souls' Eve.
Celebrating Halloween with a bonfire began with the Celtics, along with many other Halloween traditions, and is incorporated into the modern American and Ireland traditions of celebrating Halloween. The Celtics would start their bonfire on a hilltop and often through in bones from slaughtered cattle as sacrifices. Trick or treating, costumes, and jack-o-lanterns also came from the Celtics for ritualistic purposes.
Do you celebrate Halloween?
The Top 5 Spookiest Things About Halloween
There are many different things about Halloween that make it so fun and spooky at the same time. The different traditions and inclusions allow for a very diverse holiday with a variety of options. I chose the top five spookiest things about Halloween because I wanted to get down to the root of Halloween, like why is it so spooky and what are some people afraid of when it comes to celebrating this particular holiday. There are things that I didn't know about Halloween until I began writing this article, plus this holiday is one that is widely debated among all races and religions for various reasons. Enjoy and have a happy Halloween!
1. Silly String is Illegal in Hollywood on Halloween.
Spooky and true story. Anyone possessing, selling, or using any type of silly string from Oct. 31 starting at midnight to Nov. 1 at 12 noon in Hollywood, California will be subject to a $1,000 fine. Silly string is a flexible, brightly colored, plastic string foam. The solvent in the string quickly evaporates in mid-air, creating a continuous strand of plastic foam. This ordinance in Hollywood was originally passed in 2004 because of safety and environmental concerns. The ban is enforced by LAPD. Silly string is very messy and a hassle for business owners and homeowners to have to clean up after each Halloween.
2. Halloween Changed Daylight Savings Time to Increase Candy Sales.
In 2007, daylight savings time was changed from the last week of October to the first week of November. The decision was put into action by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act, which is a bill that was presented as a way to conserve energy, giving everyone an extra hour of daylight in the afternoons. The fact is that every study conducted on saving energy this way suggested that the change would have absolutely no benefit, and might even result in more energy consumption. The real reason that daylight savings time had changed was that of candy companies wanting to accompany the Halloween holiday. Candy companies make over $2 billion each year from the sales of candy, so extending the time for passing out Halloween candy would increase their profits even more because people would need to purchase larger amounts of candy. Consumers annually spend $2,330,000,000 on Halloween candy.
3. Originally, Costumes Were to Hide From Ghosts.
The Celtics would create costumes to hide from spirits during Halloween. They would also wear masks as a disguise to blend in with the spirits that were walking the earth on that day. Most of the time, they would create their costumes from animal skins and even their masks would come from real animal heads. Sometimes face paints would be used instead of masks. Now in modern America, Americans annually spend $1,240,000,000 on children's costumes and $1,550,000,000 on adult costumes.
What Will You Be This Year?
4. Early Trick or Treating Was For Food or Money.
The notion of dressing up in costume and going door to door for goods originally dates back to the Middle Ages. Children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in costumes as saints, angels, or demons and go around door to door during Hallow's Eve begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead. It was referred to as “souling” at that time and the beggars were called “soulers." The practice of trick-or-treating didn't emerge in the U.S. until the 1920's and 1930's. The earliest known reference to the term “trick or treat” actually comes from a 1927 publication from Canada.
5. Candles and Jack-o-Lanterns Are Very Spooky on Halloween.
Candles on Halloween are very creepy and superstitious. There are certain things to follow and remember when lighting candles on Halloween. First of all, only new black and orange candles should be lit on Halloween for the best of luck. Lighting a new orange candle at midnight on Halloween and letting it burn until sunrise the next morning is said to bring very good luck. Halloween candles are only to be used during Halloween, otherwise, bad luck and strange things can occur. It is believed that gazing into the flame of a candle will momentarily allow a person to see into their future. If a candle goes out suddenly, it is said that a ghost is nearby. It is an omen of bad luck for a person to accidentally spill candle wax, or burns themselves by wax or flame on Halloween.
Placing only a single lit candle into a jack-o-lantern is said to keep evil spirits and demons away. Jack-o-lanterns were originally carved from turnips instead of pumpkins because that is what was accessible at the time.
Can't Forget the Halloween Music
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© 2014 Cristale Adams