Monday, October 31

Happy Hallowe'en!

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween! I went to a party yesterday with Lila, and today we will be hanging out at home passing out candy! Here are some random Halloween related facts and images for ya:

The word Halloween came from the 16th century term All-Hallows-Eve, or the day before All-Hallows-Day (All Saints Day). Historian Nicholas Rogers says Halloween originated from the Celtic festival Samhain - a festive gathering to celebrate summer's end.
The owl is unable to move their eyes in their eye sockets, therefore they must swivel their heads to look directly at something.
 Pumpkin carving developed from the long tradition of carving vegetables such as turnips or rutabega to make lanterns in Ireland and Britain. Immigrants to America used the pumpkin, which was more readily available and much larger. Long before it became a symbol of Halloween, the carved pumpkin was associated with the harvest season in general.
Trick-or-treating dates back to the middle ages tradition of dressing up in costumes and going door to door asking for treats, food or money on holidays. This was most frequently done by the poor, in exchange for prayers for the dead.
The broom was traditionally used in witchcraft to sweep out evil, by sweeping from East to West, in the direction the sun travels.
 In Scotland and Ireland, a tradition called "guising" is still practiced sometimes, where children dress up and go from house to house, and must perform some sort of "trick" to earn their prize, such as singing a song or telling a ghost story.
Black cats were sometimes believed to be the "familiars" of witches, or could turn in human shape and act as a spy for witches and demons. The pilgrims were extremely suspicious of anything deemed evil. They feared the black cat as related to evil, and anyone caught with a black cat would be severely punished.
 If you see a spider tonight, it could be the spirit of a loved one who is watching over you.
 The average household spends $40 on Halloween candy!
 The United States produced more than 1 billion pounds of pumpkin last year.
 Candy apples were one of the most popular items given to children on Halloween. In the 60's and 70's, news reports of candy apples being given to children spread hysteria. Parents feared pins and razor blades would be hidden in them. During this hysteria, hospitals offered free x-rays of the apples!
Black cats have been known to have lower adoption odds that other colors of cats. Some shelters even suspend the adoption of black cats around Halloween to avoid people torturing them or using them as "living decorations."
By the 1930's, religion and superstition were largely removed and Halloween transformed into a commercial holiday of parties and entertainment. It began being celebrated in classrooms in the 50's.
The legend of Stingy Jack:
The story goes that Jack, a clever farmer, tricked the Devil into a tree and carved a cross on the trunk, which prevented the Devil from coming down. As a reward for freeing the Devil, Jack was allowed to live in peace for 10 years. After Jack died, God would not allow him into Heaven and neither the Devil allowed him into Hell. Jack was forced to roam the dark with only a coal to light his way. He put the coal into a carved turnip and has roamed the Earth ever since. Irish called him “Jack of the Lantern” and it was later shortened to “Jack O’Lantern.” The jack-o-lantern tradition came to America through Irish immigrants, along with the native tradition of carving pumpkins. (via)
Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween. Other girls believed they would see their boyfriend’s faces if they looked into mirrors while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween. 
 Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest, and black is associated with darkness and death.
There are no words in the English dictionary that rhyme with orange.
 Over 10% of pet owners will dress up their pets for Halloween!
Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees
A pumpkin is really a squash, and comes from the same family as the cucumber.
According to an old tradition, if you want to see a witch on Halloween, put your clothes on inside out and then walk backwards.
Dressing in costumes also dates back to the European roots, when in winter people believed that ghosts came back from the dead and would inhabit someone's home if they left, so people would dress up in costumes to disguise themselves when leaving their home, to convince the ghosts they were one of them.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
Top children's costumes include witches, Batman, pirates and vampires, as well as princesses, Spiderman, pumpkins, fairies, action/super heroes, Disney princesses and Star Wars characters. (The biggest trend for adulst & children in 2011 is zombies!)
 Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending. Consumers buy over $2.5 billion on candy, costumes, decorations and party supplies.
Lovely Hallow e'en images from Bumble Button.

1 comment:

Cabootique said...

These facts were so fun and interesting to read. I love the pictures you posted, too. Vintage Halloween makes me happy.