If we didn’t know about Halloween while growing up, as adults we’d find it pretty weird. …that’s because it is.
Trying to explain Halloween to someone from a different culture is hard. Why do we dress up like dead people…but also prostitutes? Why do we knock on strangers doors…and beg for candy? What is the correlation between tricks and treats?
According to our research? Halloween is cool, but it’s even cooler once you know its spooky origins.
Why is it called “Halloween?”
“Halloween” is actually a contraction of “All Hallows Evening.” It is the evening (eve) before All Saint’s Day, the day in the Catholic religion that commemorates those who have died and gone to heaven. “Hallows” is another word for “saints.”
What’s with the candy?
“Souling” was a practice in medieval England where “soulers” went door to door, asking the rich for small cakes (called soul cakes). In exchange for the cakes, soulers would pray for the families. Because we don’t much feel like trusting stranger to bake an un-poisoned dessert for us, prepackaged candy does just fine.
Where did trick-or-treating come from?
In addition to “souling”, trick-or-treating was possibly also influenced by Scottish “guising” which features costumed wanderers going door to door asking for coins. Obviously candy is better.
Jack O’Lanterns? WHY?
They originated from the term “will-o’-the-wisp”, which was the super Scot-Irish way to describe the phenomenon of the atmospherical balls of light that appear around bogs. The first Jack O’Lanterns were made from turnips.
Where’s the meat?
The reason Halloween features candy, apples, small cakes is because Christian tradition holds that this day is supposed to be vegetarian. If any house on my neighborhood wants to pass out burgers, that’s totally cool with me though.
What’s with all the gourds?
Fall is traditionally the season of harvest and sometimes that “harvestness” bleeds into Halloween.
Why must we dress like this?
The traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve was to make a mockery of death itself. So the point was to dress up as your favorite dead saint to fool death. Then I guess some guy in the 70’s was like, “Well technically Darth Vader is dead!” and things just got really out of hand from there.
I don’t know about you, but the next time a stranger tries to talk to me at a Halloween party, I’m just going to list off this trivia.
Read more: http://viralnova.com/halloween-origins/