23 Aug 2014
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Halloween: 10 Fun Things to Know

Pumpkins are showing up on doorsteps and the candy is already flying off store shelves. As you jump into your Halloween preparations, check out a few facts about the “Night of the Witch.”

Halloween: 10 Fun Things to Know

1. You can blame/thank the Irish for Halloween. Originally a festival for Celtic people, it was co-opted by Christians when they came to Ireland. Christians wanted to do away with the pagan origins of the pagan festival, renaming it “All Saints Day” but that backfired when the Celts renamed Oct. 31 the “Night of the Witch” when, they said, the devil and his followers would come out.

2. This short video explains the link between the Celts’ “Vigil of Samhain” and the Christian “All Saints Day.”

3. Although the church in Ireland managed to stamp out much pagan worship in Ireland, they couldn’t kill it off entirely so when vast numbers of Irish immigrants immigrated to the U.S. in the 1840s and ‘50s they also brought their Halloween festival with them. Ironically, Paganism has actually been enjoying somewhat of a renaissance in Ireland recently.

4. Why do we carve pumpkins on Halloween? The Irish originally carved out turnips on Halloween to make lanterns to ward off evil spirits but when the tradition made its way to America pumpkins proved much easier to carve and so the Halloween pumpkin carving tradition was born. I carved a turnip as a child in Ireland, believe me, pumpkins are easier. Here's a quick guide to carving a pumpkin.

5. Did you know Americans only spend more on Christmas than Halloween? Impress your friends with a few more of these Halloween tidbits.

6. Did you know more than 41 million children hit the streets last year for Halloween? Better stock up on those Milky Ways.

7. While it’s a holiday whose origins go back thousands of years, myths and urban legends have built up around Halloween.

8. In an effort to promote the Christianity, one group has started its own “Jesusween.”

9. Looking for a few good Halloween recipes? Look no further.

10. What’s the best Halloween song? Many go for this Michael Jackson classic, while others enjoy this rave from the grave, but there’s no cooler Halloween song than “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus.

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