Halloween dates back two thousand years with the Celtic festival of Samhain (sow-in). It was a harvest festival that celbrated the end of one year and the beginning of a new one,and to remember the dead. For the celebrstion the Celts dressed in costumes. They spent the night before,being mischieveous and trying to cause trouble! In the 19th century,the witch became the symbol of Halloween,as did her black cat. Originally, Halloween was called All Hallow's Eve,but was shortened to Halloween. The Ghost is another symbol of Halloween-All Soul's Day. November the 1st, is All Saints Day. In the Christian religion, it was originally called "All Hallows Day."
The Jack-O'-Lantern is from an old irish myth. Stingy Jack drank with the devil,whom Jack made promise not to take his soul. When Stingy Jack showed up at the Gates of Hell,the Devil sent him away. So Jack could see in the dark, the devil gave him a glowing coal for light. Jack put the glowing coal inside a turnip,and is said to roam the earth. Jack-O'-Lantern originally meant a night watchman,or a man with a lantern,this dates back to the mid-17th century.
So many Halloween traditions and symbols come from a long time ago! Interesting! The colors of Halloween are orange and black. Orange being associated with the Fall Harvest and black with the darkness of winter to come. Trick or Treat-going door to door is similar to the poor going from house to house begging for food on October 31st.
Do you remember collecting money for UNICEF while Trick or Treating. This began in 1950,when children in Philadelphia decorated milk cartons and collected money for less fortunate children. UNICEF increases public awareness and raises funds to provide health care,nutrition,immunizations,clean water for children around the world!
Hope you have enjoyed reading about the History of Halloween,the Jack-O'-Lantern and more!
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