We’re celebrating Halloween so here’s a little history lesson… Halloween is shortened for All Hallows’ Evening, also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th Century. Halloween was influenced from ancient Celtic festivals, which took stock of supplies and prepare for the winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. Bonfires frequented the festivals to which insects were attracted to, which led bats to the area. Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.
Trick-or-Treating has been a customary Halloween tradition since the early 1950s. The tradition of going from door-to-door receiving food already existed in Great Britain and Ireland in the form of “souling”, where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for the cakes. Guising–children disguised in costumes going from door-to-door receiving food and coins, predates trick-or-treating, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895. Many carried lanterns made out of scooped out turnips. Since pumpkins usually grow best in the fall, it probably evolved into the jack-o-lanterns we know of today.
Today, Halloween has exploded into many activities–trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks and horror films. Wiki.answers.com claims that Halloween generates $6 million each year.
We hope you have fun tonight!