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Here Are 25 Classic Facts About Halloween Then And Now

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Halloween is the night prior to All Saints Day, which is celebrated on November 1.

Halloween is celebrated on October 31 every year. It is celebrated to keep the spirits away, which are known to arrive on the night of Halloween.

The modern-day concept of Halloween was mainly adopted by the Celtic people. They celebrated a festival called the Samhain. In this festival, the people were seen to be dressing up in various costumes and light bonfires. The people believed that dead souls return their homes on this day, and hence the bonfire was lit to keep the souls away.

However, the modern-day Halloween celebration is quite different. More than keeping the souls away, today, people indulge themselves in wearing various costumes and carving pumpkins. A lot of scary movies were also made to make the festival more interesting. Apart from kids, adults are seen enjoying the festival, too. It is considered to be a holiday, and people spend the entire day with their friends and families. In a lot of places, this day is considered to be a holiday.

Keep on reading to know more about the tradition and history of this festival!

History

When we talk about the history of Halloween, we must go back to the Celtic festival that is popularly known as Samhain. The festival circulated around the thought of the dead souls coming back to their homes. So people would dress up in various costumes and would light bonfires to keep the spirits away.

This festival was celebrated on November 1. Based on this festival, the modern-day Halloween party is celebrated a night prior to Samhain. Whereas All Souls Day is celebrated on November 2. The night prior to Samhain, or All Saints Day, is known as All Hallows Eve or the night of Halloween.

  • After the idea of the festival of Samhain, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints Day on May 13. Later on, to celebrate the festival of Halloween, Pope Gregory III shifted the date to November 1, after which All Souls Day was celebrated.
  • Halloween was largely celebrated by the French, British, and Irish people initially, which later on passed onto the entire world. By the 1800s, the fall festival was represented by the Halloween festival, where people dressed up as witches and in costumes of various characters.
  • Potato famine is considered to be one of the main reasons to spread the festival of Halloween. Due to the famine, a lot of Irish people had to leave Ireland to migrate to other nations, and they carried the traditions of the festival with them.
  • Halloween traditions included dressing up in costumes and carving pumpkins to decorate the entire house. People would consider it as a holiday and would be celebrating the day with their close ones.
  • For Wiccans, Halloween is considered to be the beginning of a new year. They believe that during Halloween, the boundary between the dead and alive is extremely thin. Due to this reason, fortune-telling and making prophecies are very significant in their culture.

Rituals

When we talk about the rituals of Halloween, there have been massive changes since its initial period and now. Even though the changes have been drastic, there are few rituals that still tend to exist among people of various kinds. These rituals have been carried on by the people and are adopted and celebrated by the people in their own authentic ways. Few of the rituals were replaced, while few were just improvised by modern society.

  • Carving a turnip was the initial way of celebrating Halloween by the Irish people.
  • In recent times, people have replaced the turnip with the pumpkin, which is mostly used to decorate houses. Various masks and faces are drawn on the pumpkin with lights inside them.
  • Celtic people used to believe they could see ghosts on this day. To continue with this ritual, Christian missionaries came up with the All Souls Day, which is celebrated on November 2 every year.
  • People wear Halloween costumes and masks to dress up like a witch or ghost to enjoy the party. The kid or the child of the house dress up as their favourite characters and go to collect treats from the neighbours. The treats are mostly fancy and customized.
  • Decorating with black and orange is seen to be an authentic style of Halloween. The colour combinations were directly inherited from the Celtic people. Here, black represented the dead souls and evil spirits, while orange showed the flavour of autumn. Such decorations to turn living spaces into haunted houses are very common!
  • Movies and famous characters played a vital role in the Halloween festival. Characters like Michael Myers and scary movies like the Elm Street franchise became very popular. Kids would wear masks and costumes of these characters to the parties.
According to research, around 41% of the Americans start decorating their house from the first week of October for Halloween.

Why It Is Celebrated

Initially, Halloween was introduced by Irish people. The motive was to celebrate a day devoted to the spirits and to the supernatural natural powers. Nowadays, when we look at it, Halloween has become one of the major festivals celebrated in the American nations.

During the '50s, Americans adopted the idea of celebrating Halloween, which mainly included kids getting a treat or candy wearing superhero costumes. Families and friends come together along with the kids and have a delightful dinner filled with scary movies.

  • Halloween is currently celebrated on October 31, and this date can be traced back to the ancient festival called Samhain. It was a Celtic festival, where on November 1, the souls of the dead people return to their homes, and so Halloween is celebrated on the night prior to it.
  • Initially, Halloween would be celebrated by dressing up as a witch or a ghost and lighting bonfires to associate with the dead souls.
  • According to an article in 2005, around 70% of the adults were seen to be celebrating Halloween. People that are part of the age group between 18 to 34 were seen to be dressed in throwing Halloween parties more than the older adults and kids.
  • Recently, more than traditions, Halloween has been celebrated because of its popularity. Millions of Irish have fled due to the Potato famine to various nations. They cultivated and spread the culture of Halloween internationally.
  • 82% of Americans are known to celebrate Halloween every year, decorating their houses and dressing up as characters. They are known to host game nights with Halloween games and Halloween costumes.

Fun Facts About Halloween Then And Now

According to research, it has been around 2000 years since the first time when Halloween was celebrated. Since then, Halloween has been celebrated by multiple communities in multiple ways.

Originating from Irish people and spreading all across the world, there have been drastic changes in the celebration of Halloween. Initially, the celebrations were more about spirits and witches, whereas nowadays, it is more of a family gathering.

The modern celebration includes fancy costumes, food, candies followed by a game night at home.

  • Halloween has its origin from the Druidic culture to celebrate a holiday regarding the supernatural or mystical powers.
  • Started by ancient Irish people, Halloween changed its shape after it became popular among Catholic and Christian communities. Even though modern celebrations are quite different from ancient ones, the incorporation of a few traditions can be seen.
  • The modern Halloween party is filled with candles inside pumpkins and lightning covering the house to stay from the ghosts. Houses and churches can be seen filled with lights. More than the origin of Halloween, people nowadays talk about getting dressed up and preparing dinners on the day of Halloween.
  • Initially, during the '30s, Halloween used to be celebrated by the people of an entire area in a nearby fair or centres that were present in the downtowns. Whereas, in recent days the celebration has become very nuclear with people throwing individual parties at home.
  • During the '40s, the candy or treat given to a child during Halloween mostly included nuts, popcorn balls, fruits. Nowadays, it is primarily Halloween candy that is either made at home or bought from the stores that are given to children.
  • Initially, during the Irish Halloween season, fortune-telling was considered to be an important tradition. It would include revealing incidents from the future or the name of a person's future partner. This tradition is not religiously followed nowadays in modern society.
  • Rather than a pumpkin, turnips were being carved by the Irish people. This was done to glorify a cursed man who would find his way with the help of the light of the turnip.
  • In the '60s, the Americans first adopted the idea of carving a pumpkin during Halloween festivities. The pumpkin is mostly used for decorating the house rather than eating it.
  • Apart from the fancy Halloween costumes, Halloween also highlighted a few songs for the occasion. Songs like 'The Monster Mash' or 'I Put a Spell on You' gained a lot of popularity during the season of spirits.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for here are 121 classic facts about Halloween then and now then why not take a look at scary Halloween facts, or the purpose of Halloween.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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