In the spirit of Halloween and all things spooky, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore...
Spooky Season is fast approaching and we see no better way to celebrate than with some Halloween facts that you probably didn’t know!
The celebration of Halloween is dedicated to all things spooky and takes place annually on the 31st of October. Your costume is probably sorted, scary movie night has been planned, and you’ve picked the pumpkins, but how much do you really know about Halloween?
Continue reading to discover 10 spooky Halloween facts…
The tradition of Halloween originates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, a pagan religious celebration.
The pre-Christian festival which means “summer’s end” falls on the eve of the first day of winter. A time where morning frost blankets the fields and bonfires are lit, rumoured to spook away any evil spirits.
The early pagan festival of Samhain involved ritualistic ceremonies to hold contact with spirits, where those experiencing it disguised themselves against the ghosts.
After Christianity took over, the spooky undertones of pagan practices tended to wane, however, continued to evolve and modernise!
It’s no secret that spookiness, mythology, and magic take centre stage during Halloween!
In medieval England, many believed that Halloween was a time when spirits of the dead would cross over into the other world, whilst well into the 19th century, many believed that Halloween was when the spirits of the dead roamed the earth! As a result, people dress up as the living dead and fake gravestones adorn the porches of many houses today.
Halloween remains full of superstition even today! People still bobble for apples and avoid black cats, and some believe that flying bats indicate the presence of ghosts.
Halloween photos usually depict a full moon that is beaming, but a full moon occurring on Halloween only occurs three or four times every century.
On average, the moon is full every 19 years on Halloween, with the last occurrence in 2020! So, unfortunately, we could be waiting a while for the next one.
The roots of trick-or-treating date back to the Samhain festival, where people would prepare banquet tables with food left out to placate unwelcome spirits.
In later centuries, people began to perform antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom dates back to the Middle Ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating.
Once Christianity arrived on Celtic shores, such traditions faded. During the 9th century, the act of ‘souling’ became prominent and poor people would visit the homes of the wealthy and receive soul cakes in exchange for prayers for the souls of departed loved ones.
By the 19th century, trick-or-treating got a little adventurous; trick-or-treaters would do doorstep performances of dancing, singing and telling jokes for their treat, a tradition known as mumming.
Today trick-or-treating is dominated by Halloween-themed baked goods and mass-produced sugary sweets. No longer is the need for prayers or performances.
On the 21st of October 2013, Steve Clarke from Pennsylvania, USA set the record for the fastest pumpkin carving.
It took him just over 16 seconds to complete the jack-o’-lantern’s face, which included the eyes, nose, mouth and ears.
Have a hankering for the title? This Halloween, try your hand at challenging the world record!
Whilst Halloween folklore suggests that black cats bring bad luck, we know that this is a total myth! Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that black cats have an easy time getting adopted.
The medieval belief was that they were all pets of witches, whilst the modern-day fear deems them unlucky to walk by!
However, we are certain that black cats aren’t unlucky at all! In fact, in some cultures, they are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. So if you are looking for a forever furry friend, don’t write black cats off just because of medieval tales!
Despite Americans buying 90 million pounds of chocolate during the week of Halloween, according to National Retail Federation data, more money is spent on Easter!
Samhainophobia is a term rooted in ancient pagan traditions, defined as an unwarranted fear of Halloween!
One of the first signs of Autumn you will notice is when orange pumpkins line the shelves of supermarkets or Instagram is full pumpkin picking pictures!
However, did you know that there are several other pumpkin colours to enjoy?
You may spot one or two green pumpkins while you’re out picking, as well as a red one! One of the most famous red pumpkins is the Rouge Vif d’Etampes, which is featured in Cinderella.
You can also spot white pumpkins, yellow pumpkins and even blue!
Whilst this Halloween fact may not come as a surprise, did you know the significance of the two colours?
It is said that orange is the symbol of strength and endurance, as well as representing autumn, whilst black represents the cold and dark winter! Black also serves as a symbol of death, acting as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that celebrated the spirits of the dead.
If these Halloween facts have left you excited for the holiday, take a look at our 11 ways to celebrate Halloween at home! Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave, enjoy a ghost walk and ghost tour this Halloween.
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