History of Halloween

The history of Halloween is just like a wonderful mix of trick or treat candy, made up of interesting traditions, religious beliefs and world-wide customs.

Happy Birthday Halloween!

Halloween has been around for thousands of years, and was born out of many different cultures. The word Halloween comes from the celebration of "All Hallows Day" (All Saints Day) or "Hallormas" practiced by the Catholic Church on Nov. 1. Years later, the church made Nov. 2 a holy day to honor the dead and called it "All Souls Day." People celebrated this day by dressing up as saints, angels and devils.

The very first Halloween was practiced by the Celtic people in their Samhein (pronounce SOW-EN) festival. Every year on the night of Oct. 31, the Celtic people dressed up in scary costumes in the hopes of frightening away evil spirits.

Bobbing ApplesBobbing for Pomonas?

Bobbing for apples, a Halloween party game loved by all, is thought to come from the Romans after they conquered the Celtics. The Romans honored Pomona, the goddess of fruit and trees, had their own celebration in late October. Since the symbol of Ponoma is the apple, many games were played with sacred apples, and bobbing for apples is believed to be one of them.

So What About Trick or Treating?

The popular tradition of Trick or Treating began with the early Christians. On November 2 (All Souls Day) the poor people would walk from town to town begging. The housewives gave the beggars special treats called "soul cakes," which were square pieces of currant cake. This custom was called "going a-souling." As the beggars received their soul cakes, they would promise to say prayers for the dead to help their souls get into heaven. Over time, the custom changed as children did the begging and were given apples, buns and sometimes money.

Trick or TreatingTrick or Treating Comes to America

After the terrible potato famine in Ireland, Irish people fled to America and brought their Halloween customs with them. During the pioneer days, the housewives gave children candy on Halloween to keep from being tricked, which inspired the children to shout the famous, "Trick or Treat!"

 From Turnips to Pumpkins

Pumpkins weren't always the favorite object to carve. During Irish Halloween gatherings, children would carve out potatoes or turnips and light them with a glowing ember. When this custom was brought to America, turnips were not easy to find. Pumpkin carvings became the new tradition, which is the most popular symbol of Halloween today!

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Laugh or Die!

Q: What do you get when you put Frankenstein, Freddy Kruger and the Cookie Monster in a blender?

Q: What did the silly rabbit say when he stole the Halloween candy?

Q: Why do witches wear name tags?

Q: What happened when the demon didn't make his ghost payment?

Q: What do you call chicken pox on a goose?

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What hot head has two eyes, a crooked mouth and at least 20 ribs?

Knock Knock!

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Bats-al, who?

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