Halloween is an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on the last day of harvest in European countries and America. Over the years, Halloween is celebrated worldwide and has become very popular in urban India. Halloween is a holiday in most countries in Europe and the United States. In India, children have fun on Halloween, dress up in spooky costumes and visit friends with treat bags but it is not a holiday here. Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31 and this year it is on the weekend. So plan ahead and get ready for some spooky fun.
Halloween history and 10 fun facts
- The history of Halloween goes back more than 2,000 years.
- Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a pagan religious tradition.
- People would light bonfires and wear unconventional costumes to ward off ghosts.
- According to the history.com, "in the eighth century Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain".
- The evening before All Saints Day was known as 'All Hallows Eve', and later Halloween.
- For countries in the northern latitudes, the day marked the end of summer and the beginning of cold, dark winter when deaths and disease were common.
- Over the centuries, the nature of Halloween celebrations changed. Today, Halloween is synonymous with children getting into spooky costumes and asking for 'trick or treat'.
- The 'treat' is mostly some form of candy or chocolate that are given to children and 'trick' refers to a threat - usually an idle one - if something nice is not given.
- 'Trick or treat' is said to have been derived from ancient Irish and Scottish practices. According to the history.com, in Ireland, people would put on costumes and go from door-to-door and singing songs to the dead. They received cakes as payment.
- The origin of pumpkin carving also goes back to an Irish myth. Pumpkin carving is a must-do activity during Halloween and this year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, it's a great time to enjoy pumpkin carving with your family at home.