Learn about some fascinating Halloween facts in today’s guide.
It’s that time of the year again.
Yes, we are talking about everyone’s favourite spooky holiday – Halloween!
So it’s also time to brush up on your Halloween facts. To help with that, we have brought you ten of the most interesting and essential Halloween facts that most people don’t know. Use them responsibly 😉
Let the Halloween fact and trivia fest begin!
10 Spooktacular Halloween Facts
- Three other names for Halloween – Even though Halloween is the most common name for the day that falls on the 31st of October, it is not the only name the day goes by. In fact, there are three other names for this very same day! Want to what they are? Then here you go! The three other names for Halloween are: All Hallows’ Eve, Allhalloween, and All Saints’ Eve.
- What Halloween means – The word Halloween has a Scottish origin. It literally means “Saints evening” and comes from the Scottish term for All Hallows Eve.
- How old is Halloween – How old do you think Halloween is? A hundred years? Five hundred? How about a thousand years, do you think Halloween is a thousand years old? Turns out it’s actually a lot older. It is said to have started around 4000 B.C. which makes it more than 6,000 years old!
- The origin of Halloween – Now you know that Halloween has been around for quite a while. Now you might be wondering what its roots are. Where did Halloween come from? Even though it might seem like an American holiday, it actually originated in a different part of the world… in Ireland! Yes, Ireland, and not America. But it did become mainstream in the USA. But in term of its origin, according to historians Halloween has Celtic (maybe even pagan) roots, originating from the Gaelic harvest festival Samhain. Like many other popular Christian holidays, the early Church is believed to have adopted the day and then Christianised it. You can learn more about the history of Halloween here.
- Halloween and Druids – Have you heard of Druids? They are the mystical priests that many think about when it comes to ancient and mystical rituals. Turns out, they have a big connection to Halloween. Even though Halloween now is celebrated by many religious orders, Druids were the first religious order of priests who celebrated it.
- How Halloween became mainstream (or, how Halloween came to America) – Now that you know about Halloween’s Celtic origin, you might be wondering how it became mainstream and especially how it reached the shores of America. Well, here’s what happened: during the 1840s many Irish people left Ireland due to the potato famine. Many of them ended up in America, and they brought their Halloween traditions with them. It’s a lot like how the Chinese New Year celebrations have become pretty much mainstream all around the world as a result of Chinese people traveling and settling in different parts of the world. Anyway, so you can thank the potato famine for the mainstreaming of Halloween – the silver lining to a sad time if you will.
- How trick-or-treating became the thing to do – Trick-or-treating might be the main activity for Halloween today, but it was not in the early days. In the late 1800s and early 1900s trick-or-treating wasn’t really even a thing people did! During the early days in the West after the Irish migration, Halloween was by and large about playing pranks. It is believed that the practice of trick-or-treating that we are so familiar with today is something that became popular around the 1930s, mainly as a way to get a handle on the pranks and mischief! Well, candy certainly beats pranks, especially when it involves kids 🙂
- Big spending fest – Halloween might have started off as a religious practice, but it has become one of the biggest consumer holidays. How big you ask? Well, it is bigger than Valentine’s Day! And even bigger than New Year and Boxing Day! Only one other holiday is a bigger holiday (in terms of consumer spending), and that’s Christmas. Halloween spending this year is expected to reach a whopping $9 Billion, and that’s just in the US!! (source – National Retail Foundation USA)
- Christian connection – Even though Halloween has Celtic roots, it does also have a Christian connection. In fact, it is linked to not one but two Christian holy days: All Saints Day, and All Souls Day (celebrated on the first and second of November, respectively). In many parts of the world those two days are national holidays.
- The 5 symbols of Halloween – Here’s a pop quiz for you: what do you think are the five symbols of Halloween? Ok, we’ll give you the answers, see how many you guys right. The five symbols of Halloween are… Bats, Black Cats, Ghosts (including Skeletons), Jack-O-Lanterns, and lastly, Witches.
So, how many did you guess right? Let us know in the comments!
Halloween is a fun time, and it is a great celebration especially for kids. That said, it won’t be quite the same this year unfortunately as a result of the Coronavirus situation. But there’s no reason why you can’t practice safe distancing and have fun – you can still enjoy it at home with those you care about! So dress up, put on your favourite spooky movie, get yourself some Halloween drinks and snacks, and have fun! These indoor game ideas might also give you some inspiration on what else you can do.
What are your Halloween plans for this year?
As for these Halloween facts, which one is your favourite? Do you have have any Halloween facts of your own to share?
Share your thoughts and tips about Halloween facts in the comments section below.
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