Six Things You Didn’t Know About Halloween: Every October 31st people all over the world (or at least in most parts of Europe, North America, and Latin America) celebrate the ancient holiday of Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve. Although today it features costumes, trick-or-treating, and ghost stories it wasn’t always that way. Read on to find out six things you didn’t know about Halloween.
Six Things You Didn’t Know About Halloween
1. Hallowe ‘en
The modern name of “Halloween” derives from “Hallowe ‘en”, a contraction of the phrase All Hallows’ Eve.
Trick or treating comes from an ancient Celtic tradition where people would put out treats to appease wandering spirits during the festival of Samhain.
3. Irish Roots
Although Halloween has certainly been influence by numerous ancient holidays and festivals, Ireland is widely considered to the be its birthplace.
4. Ten Chieh
In China people celebrate Teng Chieh, or the Lantern Festival. Lanterns in the shape of dragons are hung around town in order to lead spirits back to their earthly dwellings.
5. Festival of the Hungry Ghosts
In Hong Kong Halloween celebrations are known as Yue Lan or “Festival of the Hungry Ghosts”. During the festivities fires are lit and food is offered to angry spirits seeking revenge.
6. Pumpkin Carving
Pumpkin carving comes from a method used by the Celts to ward off evil spirits during Samuin. They would hollow out turnips, carve faces in them, and then put candles inside to keep the spirits at bay.