With All Hallows' Eve fast approaching, many people's preparations are underway, from embellishing the home with eerie details to hand-picking apples and dipping them in caramel.
It's one of the biggest occasions of the year and offers an opportunity for families to trick-or-treat with loved ones. And for businesses, it’s an opportunity to make big bucks by selling Halloween-inspired decorations and candy.
Despite October 31 being one of the oldest celebrations in the world, many people are unaware why candy sales exceed 2 billion at this time of year, why children bob for apples, and why there is such a big emphasis on ghosts, ghouls and evil spirits. If you celebrate the occurrence but want to learn the history of Halloween, read on.
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The Name - Halloween - why exactly is it called this? Well, the word is derived from All-hallow-even, which was the celebration's original name.
A Religious Affair - These days, people old and young celebrate Halloween by partying, trick-or-treating, dressing up and trying to ward off evil spirits. However, it was once a day of religious celebration for Northern European pagans.
Measuring the Day -Nowadays, when most people rise on October 31 they immediately start Halloween activities. Back in the ninth century, the day would be measured from sunset, based on the Florentine calendar.
Two Celebrations in One - Something else that people in the ninth century did differently than people today - was celebrating All Saints' Day and Halloween on the same day.
Halloween in Ireland - The Irish aren't just crazy about Guinness, because people residing in Ireland started marking the occasion in 1000 AD. Samhain Night or Oiche Shamhna is what it is known as and pre-Christian Celts used to host Samhain - an autumn festival.
Don't let urban myths and legends prevent you from telling ghost stories and dressing up as fantastical creatures. Even though you won't have good luck if you face sleeping south or have bad luck if you see a white cat, there are plenty of ways to have a devilish time.