Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year in several countries on 31st October. As interesting it is to celebrate the festival, it is good to know a little bit more about the Halloween history.
Halloween is a festival which is also known as Allhalloween or All Hallows’ eve.
The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronunciation – Sow ehn, end of summers) where people dressed in costumes and lit bonfires to ward off the ghosts.
The festival marked the end of harvesting season and beginning of the long dark winter days. Over time, this day has evolved from ancient rituals to a day of parties, costumes, trick or treat and much more.
Here are few facts you must know about Halloween before the celebrations start this year.
Halloween History – The Origin of Halloween Festival
Halloween’s origin dates back to a Celtic festival called Samhain (Sow-in). Long back in the area which is now Ireland, United Kingdom and parts of France the Celts lived around 2,000 years ago and used to celebrate their new year on the November 1st.
This was the time of the year which marked the beginning of dark cold winter and was associated with human deaths.
At that time, Celts believed that on the night before the New Year i.e. 31st October, the boundary between the worlds of the living and dead became blurred.
This enabled the dead to enter and walk the earth. Believing this they started celebrating Samhain (Sow-in) on 31st October.
At this time of the year, due to presence of spirits from the outer world, Celts thought that it was easy for Celtic priests to have a peak of the future and make predictions about it.
Such predictions could in turn be quite useful and bring comfort to the people during this tough time of the year.
To celebrate this, Celtic priests used to lit huge sacred bonfires where people gathered to burn crops and animals as an offering to the Celtic deities.
During celebration it was common for Celtic people to wear different costumes consisting of animal heads and skins. These have now been replaced with other Costumes both scary and funny in modern times.
The Halloween Costumes
As far as Halloween history goes, early Celts believed that during Halloween day the doors between our world and the paranormal world would fade letting the ghosts and the spirits of dead walk the earth.
To ensure spirits were not able to identify the living, people used to dress up in costumes, wear masks which lead to the tradition of Halloween Costumes.
Are ghosts really that dumb? Who knows? Jokes apart, but when you live in a volatile world and face the deadly winters ahead, such stories might actually make sense.
Jack O Lanterns
The practice of decorating jack o lanterns is said to have originated in Ireland and is based on an Irish myth about “Stingy Jack”.
Originally turnips and potatoes were used as canvasses in Ireland to make Jack O Lanterns.
The use of Pumpkin to create the jack o lanterns can be related to the immigration of people from countries such as Ireland, Scotland into the United States, since pumpkin – a native fruit of America is perfect for making jack o lanterns.
Pumpkins are scary, aren’t they?
The symbols such as bats, black cats, spiders etc are not random and just their to scare people during Halloween festival.
Many people believed them to be familiars of witches and witchcraft and hence holds a special place in Halloween.
During ancient time these symbols were associated with bad luck, black magic and evil.
Remember Hollywood Horror movies and usage of these symbols?
Biggest Halloween Festival in Europe
While Halloween festival is quite popular in many countries, Derry Halloween Parade (Londonderry, Northern Ireland) is a well known event and many people travel to visit the city for this event.
Londonderry’s Halloween festival (Derry Halloween parade) is believed to be Europe’s biggest with more than 100,000 people visiting the city in 2018.
The festival marks events such as scary pizza making, fancy dog walk and carnival parade to name a few.
Consumer Spending & Social Media Influence on Halloween Festival
Halloween festival each year attracts lots of consumer spending. Many online and retail shops launch new products and special services just for this festival.
At this time of the year you can see many Pumpkin carving tools, scary halloween costumes, face paints, scary make up tool-kits and different type of candies available in the market.
As per recent survey by NRF (National Retail Federation), candy seems to be the top planned purchase for US consumers, followed by decoration and money spent on costumes.
In recent years, Social media has been a lot of craze among both adults and kids.
With people posting pictures and videos of their families in scary makeup and costumes, this has attracted lot of interest from everyone for Halloween.
It has also given noticeable rise to consumers whose shopping has been influenced by their friends, relatives and celebrities. People want to try something new and share with their friends and have fun.
People appreciate their friends creativity which generates new trends in these portals and platforms during Halloween season.
Rise in social media platforms such as Pinterest, facebook, youtube, Instagram, twitter, Tik Tok and Reels have been the major influences for Halloween shopping and craze.
It is quite common to find new online trends based on celebrities and influencers trying new stuffs each year on Halloween.
With this short walk down the Halloween History it is time for us to take a leave but before we go, we would like to pass on our best wishes to you. –
Wish you a very Happy Halloween from all of us here at Felicity Plus
Have a lovely holiday season and do let us know in comments section about more amazing Halloween history facts that we may have missed out.
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Why not check out some classic cocktails to make this Halloween?