HALLOWEEN HISTORY • Halloween is short for “All Hallows Eve” • It is celebrated around the world on October 31st, the eve of the Western Christian Feast of “All Hallows” • Many believe Halloween was influenced by Western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead- especially. . . • “Samhain,” a celtic holiday marking the end of the harvest season
CELTIC INFLUENCES • “Samhain” means summers end • It represents the end of harvest and the beginning of the “darker” half of the year • On this day, it was believed that the dead were able to return from the “underworld” • People wore costumes to scare away evil spirits and disguise themselves • They would also go from door to door to collect food for the “Samhain feast”-an offering for the spirits and fairies • People would also light “turnip lanterns,” carved with faces to light their way and protect themselves from the dead • DOES THIS SOUND AT ALL FAMILIAR?
Christian Influences • Halloween may also be connected to the early Christian Holy Days- All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2) • These holidays were meant to honor saints and pray for those who had recently died • Children went from door to door looking for “soul cakes” to pray for souls • People wore costumes as a disguise for souls seeking revenge • Jack o-Lanterns represented souls waiting to go to heaven • DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
How did Halloween get to the USA? • The original Puritan settlers in America were strongly opposed to the holiday • Halloween became popular in immigrant communities during the 19th century, when Scottish and Irish immigrants first arrived in the USA • By the start of the 20th century, Halloween was celebrated by people all over the USA
Halloween Symbols from Stories • Some Halloween symbols come from horror literature and films, such as: Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Mummy
Harvest Halloween Symbols • Other Halloween symbols come from the autumn harvest season, such as corn husks, scare crows and of course-pumpkins!
Halloween Costumes • Originally, Halloween costumes were only meant to be “supernatural” characters, such as witches, ghosts and monsters. • Today, costumes include popular characters in fiction, celebrities and pretty much ANYTHING!
Trick or Treating • This is the most popular tradition for children in the USA.
Trick or Treating is a Halloween tradition. Children go from door to door collecting candy from neighbors. How do they do it? First, they ring the boor bell or knock. When the neighbor opens the door, the children say: “Trick or Treat!” Then the neighbors give them candy! If they don’t they might get tricked!
Here is an example of a trick… …toilet paper all over the house and trees!
At the end of Trick or Treating, children have huge bags full of candy, sweets, and money!
Jack O’Lanterns • People use pumpkins to make Jack O’Lanterns
A Jack O’Lantern is a pumpkin with a face that someone has carved into it. A candle is put inside so that the Jack O’Lantern glows at night. It’s the most popular Halloween decoration.
There are ghosts, vampires, witches, monsters and more scary things in haunted houses!
On Halloween, people also decorate their houses with decorations.
Spider webs are a very popular decoration!
Other treats- Candy apples • Halloween is celebrated at the apple harvest, so candy apples (apples covered in caramel or syrup) are very popular.
Pumpkin Treats • Pumpkins are in season too, so tasty treats on Halloween include pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and of course roasted pumpkin seeds!
Candy Treats • Traditional Halloween candy are bite-sized sugar treats shaped like corn and pumpkins, to represent the harvest crops
What else do people do on Halloween?
At Halloween parties, people: • Dance • Sing • Eat! • Have costume contests • Have different competitions • Play games
Activities-Bobbing for Apples • “Bobbing for apples” is a game where apples float in a tub of water and you must remove them with your teeth
Mummy Wrap • In this game, teams race to be first to “wrap” their teammate as a mummy- in toilet paper!
Telling ghost stories • On Halloween, people like to tell scary ghost stories too.
Watching scary movies • Of course, on Halloween, people like to watch scary movies!
Non-scary Halloween things • Not everything on Halloween is scary-families do different activities outside to celebrate the autumn harvest, such as pumpkin picking. . .
. . . eating corn on the cob . . . or drinking hot apple cider.