Halloween originated from an ancient Celtic festival. The origins of Halloween date back 2,000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on October 31 on the eve of their new year, according to the History Channel. The Celts believed that the dead returned to earth that night, and so they lit bonfires and donned costumes to ward off the ghosts.
Jack-o-lanterns were inspired by an Irish legend. According to the History Channel, the name jack-o’-lantern is rooted in an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack who fooled the devil and in turn was forced to walk the Earth with only a burning coal in a hollowed turnip to light his way. The Irish began to call him “Jack of the Lantern,” and then just “Jack o’Lantern.”
Trick-or-treating has existed since medieval times. Trick-or-treating was inspired by the medieval English tradition of “souling,” which involved children going door-to-door on All Souls Day, offering prayers for residents’ deceased loved ones in exchange for food.
Candy wasn’t given out to trick-or-treaters until the 1950s. Halloween simply wouldn’t be the same without those fun (and king!) size candy bars to sweeten the day. But there was a time when trick-or-treaters didn’t receive candy at all, but rather pieces of cake, fruit, nuts, coins, and little toys, according to the History Channel. It wasn’t until the 1950s, when candy makers began to promote their goods for Halloween, that candy became a staple on the trick-or-treating circuit. These days, one quarter of all the candy sold in the U.S. each year is purchased for Halloween.
The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia. Many people enjoy embracing the spooky spirit of Halloween, but for some, the fear is not all in good fun. Some people suffer from Samhainophobia, or the fear of Halloween, according to Newsweek. Now that you’ve learned about the origins of Halloween, you can probably guess that the word comes from Samhain, the Gaelic festival that inspired Halloween.
Everyone still loves a good spooky Halloween costume. Halloween looks can be silly, funny, or cute, but according to the National Retail Federation, scary costumes still reign supreme. In 2020, the top Halloween costumes for adults were: 1. Witch 2. Vampire 3. Cat 4. Batman 5. Ghost
This was around 1997 when I was 21. I was watching tv at around 1 am and my Golden Retriever, Shawny was sleeping on the front porch/veranda. The rest of the family were sleeping. I was sleepy and about to get up and switch the tv off and go to bed when I hear my dog barking like she was scared and angry at the same time. I thought nothing of it at first (must have been a cat passing outside our gate) but she kept at it. That woke up my dad and brother in law (my older sister had just given birth to her first son a few days ago).
I was the first to step out and check and heard the noise first before I saw the snake – it was a venomous small snake that was rare in this area and it was hissing at Shawny, who was scared. My dad, bro in law and I got whatever we could find – a field hockey stick, a cricket bat and some other sticks we had – and went towards the snake trying to get at it. Shawny had slinked away, towards the house at this point. At some point the snake hissed and made its way towards me and I back up a couple of steps – all of a sudden I hear this ferocious growl and barking as Shawny ran and placed herself between me and the snake. The snake must have been startled (truthfully we all were as I had never heard her barking this loudly before) and my brother in law and dad took this opportunity to hit the snake on its head.
All 3 of us hit it and the snake died and we used my hockey stick to pick the snake carcass and toss it outside the house. All of our hearts were beating so fast and we were still reeling from the experience. I turned towards my best friend only to see that she has brought her favourite ball to me and had that look in her eyes “Since we are all awake now, can we play fetch?”
As my dad and brother-in-law went to comfort my mother and sister, I played ball with Shawny until I was tired and sleepy. I will never forget that dog. She was my best friend and unfortunately, dogs don’t live long enough. She passed away in 2005 but not a day goes by without me thinking of her and wishing she were still with me.