Halloween is upon us. So, if you're like me, and you've ever wondered why we celebrate this weird holiday the way we do. Here's some answers.
Of Course It’s Irish: According to historians, Halloween is most closely related to a Celtic festival named Samhain that would take place on the last day of fall in the Celtic calendar. The Celts believed that this time of the year was when the natural and supernatural worlds would come in contact with each other. In order to scare away evil spirits, the Celts would build giant bonfires. The word “Halloween” itself is a Scottish derivative of the Catholic holiday “All-Hallows-Eve,” and it was first used in the 16th Century.
Everything is so dark: People see jack-o-lanterns as something cute, or at the very least something to carve their favorite “Angry Bird” into. However, the practice of carving gourds started in Ireland and Scotland as a way to honor souls trapped in purgatory. In fact, the Irish and the Scottish used turnips instead of pumpkins, but immigrants to North America started using pumpkins because they were more abundant and easier to carve.
More Souls to be Saved: Like jack-o-lanterns, “Trick or Treating” started off as a game for souls. The idea is that the poor of a town or village would go from house to house and beg for food. The people at the house would give away food in exchange for prayers for the dead on the next day, “All Souls Day.” Like every other thing on this list, the practice originated in Ireland and Britain, but could be found in other locations as far south as Italy.
Something that has nothing to do with Halloween: This doesn’t pertain to Halloween exactly, but Nevada was admitted as the 36th state on October 31, 1864. Nevada would go on to gain notoriety for gambling, silver mines and general lawlessness. Do what you will with that information.
Also: Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926. The famed magician died after his appendix burst several days earlier. According to popular legend, Houdini’s appendix burst after a man punched him repeatedly in the stomach. However, Houdini experts now believe that the magician had been suffering from appendicitis and his appendix would have burst without trauma anyway.