Monday, 31st October 2022 is the evening that many parents will take their children out trick or treating and get them dressed up in scary costumes. Some of us will love the excitement of Halloween whereas others will loathe it, so for this reason I wanted to share a little bit of the history.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2022 will occur this evening. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.
Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “SAH-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.” Celebrants believe that the barriers between the physical world and the spirit world break down during Samhain, allowing more interaction between humans and denizens of the Otherworld.
What’s the significance of the black cat?
Among superstitions, one of the oldest and most enduring is that crossing paths with a black cat will bring on bad luck. The dark-coloured felines have also been folded into modern Halloween symbols, giving them the (unearned) reputation of being spooky.
Around the time of World War II, black cats became firmly established Halloween symbols—but now as good luck! Trick-or-treating had become a holiday tradition, and the presence of a black cat at your door protected your home from evil spirits that might come knocking.
What are 5 traditions of Halloween?
- Making Jack-O-Lanterns
- Wearing spooky costumes
- Trick or Treating
- Visiting haunted houses
- Telling spooky stories and watching scary movies
During the Halloween season, you’ll see Jack-o’-Lanterns in windows and at front doors. Pumpkin carving, or making Jack-o’-Lanterns, is one of the United States’ absolute favourite Halloween activities. It’s so popular, in fact, that there’s a town in New York that dedicates an entire exhibit to pumpkins: The Great Jack-o’-Lantern Blaze!
For many families, carving pumpkins is quite an ordeal.
How do you actually make a Jack-o’-Lantern?
It often begins with a trip to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect pumpkin. After picking one out, the real fun begins. Once you cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin, scoop out all the seeds on the inside of the pumpkin until it’s completely hollow. Then, carve a spooky face, complete with triangle eyes and a scary smile. To top it all off, put a candle inside to make the face glow!
Wearing spooky costumes
One of the best parts of Halloween is getting to dress up! In the days and weeks leading up to Halloween, don’t be surprised to see people in full-on costumes out and about. From mummies, ghosts, and zombies, to pop culture references, cartoon characters, and animals, you will likely see all kinds of crazy and detailed costumes.
The name of this tradition sounds strange, and the tradition itself is perhaps even more odd! While there are rarely tricks, there are plenty of treats on Halloween. Trick-or-treating happens in the evening on October 31. After the school day ends, children put on their silliest and spookiest costumes. Then they walk around their neighbourhood and collect sweets and chocolate at each house by saying “Trick or treat!” at each door. It’s a fun way for the community to collectively celebrate Halloween, and a fantastic opportunity for kids to dress up as their favourite characters or superheroes.
Visiting Haunted Houses
BOLSOVER CASTLE AND ITS ‘GHOST BOOK’
Built on the site of a medieval fortress, Bolsover Castle is an extraordinary 17th century aristocratic retreat and is reputedly so haunted that English Heritage staff keep a ‘ghost book’ as they get so many reports of paranormal activity. There have been sightings of a female ghostly presence in the kitchen area and a child who appears in a fireplace before disappearing. Strange noises are often heard, smells appear for no reason and some visitors have reported hearing the sound of horses hooves passing through the walls. Staff and visitors are said to have reported being pushed, seeing apparitions and items being moved around the site.
Scary Movies to watch
- Hocus Pocus (1993)
- It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
- Halloween (1978)
- Halloween (2018)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- Beetlejuice (1988)
- Casper (1995)
- Child’s Play (1988)
Whatever your plans are for this evening, stay safe, have fun & be respectful to the people in our community. Happy Halloween from everyone at Elastic FM