Of course you know that trick-or-treating and carving Jack-O-Lanterns are major traditions associated with Halloween, but are you familiar with some of the lesser known facts about Halloween? Believe it or not, there is so much more to this holiday than dressing up to get some candy. It has been celebrated for centuries and while it has become a silly holiday for kids and adults alike, it was taken very seriously by many (well, many people still do take it very seriously; including me). Want to know more about this fun-filled fall holiday? Read on to find out some interesting facts about Halloween that you probably never knew.
1 Dressing up is Serious Business
One of the most interesting facts about Halloween that I found out was how the whole dressing up thing came to be. The ancient Celts started the tradition. They believed that evil spirits would roam the earth and would come into contact with the living and potentially harm them. In order to confuse those evil spirits, they dressed up to ward them off. Obviously, the tradition stuck.
2 Modern Day Trick-or-Treating is an American Tradition
The tradition of trick-or-treating as we know it today started in the United States around the mid 1920s. People thought that it would be fun to dress up, knock on doors and ask homeowners if they would like to be "tricked" or if they would give a "treat." Back then, more tricks tended to happen, as people weren't used to the request and often didn't have treats. That's how treats and candies came into this time honored tradition.
3 The Precursor to All Souls Day
Once called All Hallows' Eve, Halloween is the precursor holiday for the Catholic holiday All Souls' Day, which is celebrated on November 1. However, it is more likely that this holiday is connected to the Celtic holiday of Samhain, which was a harvest festival.
4 Black and Orange = Death and Endurance
The traditional colors of Halloween are black and orange. Black represents those who have passed on and are being celebrated during this time of the year. Orange stands for endurance, a sign that individuals will make it through the harvest season and abound.
5 Jack-O-Lantern Turnips
The tradition of carving Jack-O-Lanterns started in Europe, where they actually carved turnips. The Irish brought the tradition over to the States, but since turnips weren't easy to come by inexpensively and pumpkins were plentiful and cheap, they replaced the original turnip lanterns.
6 Peanuts Created the Halloween We Know Today
Believe it or not, the beloved Peanuts comic actually started the popular traditions that are associated with Halloween today. Dressing up and trick-or-treating were made famous by Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and all of their pals.
7 Parades Are Serious Business
Halloween is a beloved holiday across the United States. Many cities have started to hold parades to honor this holiday. Some of the most popular parades are held in Salem, New Orleans and in the Village in New York; however, small towns are also getting into this festive celebration.
I can honestly say that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Though I complain when I see the stores starting to put out their Halloween displays in August, I really do start to get excited. Since I am such a lover of this holiday, I find these facts quite interesting. How about you? Which fact did you find the most surprising?