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Halloween or Hallowe’en, also known as All Hallows Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve before the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Typical festive activities include trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins and costume parties.If you are planning on hosting, or going to a Halloween party, why not impress your ghostly friends with some lesser known facts on this popular holiday.
The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips!
In the USA Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
The word witch comes from the Old English wicce, meaning ‘wise woman’ At the time wiccan were highly respected. According to popular belief witches held one of their two main meetings or sabbats on Halloween night!
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween!
In Medieval Europe owls where thought to be witches and were, at that time, the popular Halloween images. It was said if you were to hear the owls call it meant that somebody was about to die.
Jack O’Lanterns are said to be named after a stingy man called Jack who tricked the devil several times and was forbidden in both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.
The largest pumpkin every measured was grown by Norm Craven who broke the world record in 1993 with an 836lb pumpkin
Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year. The word Samhain is derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning summers end. Samhain was the first and the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish and Scottish calendar and, falling on the last day of autumn, it was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead. At this time of year there was a sense that the physical and supernatural worlds were close and magical things could happen. The souls of the dead were supposed to revisit their homes on Samhain eve. Often, bonfires were built to ward off spirits and invoke the help of the gods, perhaps with animal and even human sacrifice.
Ireland is typically believed to be the birth place of Halloween.
Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C, which means the festival has been around for over 6,0000 years!