Thursday, May 23, 2013
Ten Fun Facts About Halloween
By OFW editor:
Published: September 23, 2013
It’s getting close – that time of year when it becomes legal and, in fact, encouraged, to scare little children. I, personally, can’t wait. For now, here’s a few fun facts that you probably didn’t know about Halloween. Use them at your next party to make you seem smart. Or nerdy.
The first Jack O’Lanterns were actually made from turnips.
Because pumpkin flavored anything is delicious and turnips are disgusting. Cook the pumpkin, let the turnip rot around a cheap candle on your porch. Makes sense to me.
Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas.
Because if there’s anything people like as much as getting gifts, it’s scaring the shit out of each other.
The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
Pumpkin pie for everyone!
Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
I wonder what would happen to the house that decided to “trick” the wandering spirits instead. Eggs? Toilet paper? Death of their first born?
“Halloween” is short for “Hallows’ Eve” or “Hallows’ Evening,” which was the evening before All Hallows’ (sanctified or holy) Day or Hallowmas on November 1. In an effort to convert pagans, the Christian church decided that Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2) should assimilate sacred pagan holidays that fell on or around October 31.
Kind of kills the magic, doesn’t it?
Halloween has variously been called All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhaim, and Summer’s End.
And “that other night of the year when it becomes socially acceptable to dress like a naughty something-or-other and get completely wasted.”
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.
Those are called “peeping toms,” ladies, and shouldn’t be encouraged.
Because Protestant England did not believe in Catholic saints, the rituals traditionally associated with Hallowmas (or Halloween) became associated with Guy Fawkes Night. England declared November 5th Guy Fawkes Night to commemorate the capture and execution of Guy Fawkes, who co-conspired to blow up the Parliament in 1605 in order to restore a Catholic king.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot…
According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside out and then walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.
Pretty certain this “tradition” was invented to see how many idiots they could spot walking backward that night.
During the pre-Halloween celebration of Samhain, bonfires were lit to ensure the sun would return after the long, hard winter. Often Druid priests would throw the bones of cattle into the flames and, hence, “bone fire” became “bonfire.”
Nowadays, we cook cow on the grill near said bonfire. That counts, right?
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