You wear a costume, and the candy, but how much do you know about Halloween? Haven’t you ever wondered why someone decided that stabbing the hell out of a pumpkin was going to be an annual tradition? Here are some facts about the spookiest night of the year that you probably never knew.
“Halloween” is a shortened version of "All Hallows' Eve.”
You can thank Irish pagans for the name of the holiday. According to Merriam-Webster, “Halloween” originally comes from “All Hallows' Eve” which is the second night of a festival called Samhain. “Hallow” is Old English for “holy,” and “eve” refers to the nighttime setting. All Hallows' Eve, became All Hallows' Even, and then in the 16th century, it was shortened to “Hallow-e'en.”
Halloween used to be about romance.
For women in the early 20th century, Halloween was about finding a husband. There was a game called “Snap Apple” where participants could only use their teeth to bite into the fruit as it was suspended from a stick. The first one to succeed got married.It’s like a mix of bobbin’ for apple and “The Bachelor.”
Halloween was “tamed” in the beginning of the 20th century.
Apparently, Halloween got so wild in the 1920s that communities had to step in to make it more family-friendly. Hence all the parades and town-wide parties. Things took an even bigger PG turn after the baby boom of the '50s with Halloween parties moving into school classrooms.
Original jack-o'-lanterns were actually carved turnips, beets, and potatoes.
Jack-o'-lanterns come from an old Celtic legend about a man named “Stingy Jack” who was sent into the night by the devil after he died and carved a turnip to light his way. Stories were spread that his ghost still wanders the Earth so the Irish carved scary faces into turnips and put them in their windows to scare him away. After they fled to America, the Irish immigrants figured out that pumpkins made a much better lantern.
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