Halloween History Facts

Halloween first came to the U.S. in the 1840s but Halloween’s observance goes back to the ancient Samhain Celtic holiday.

Here are several Halloween celebrations, held on October 31: Gest5

* Celts, who resided in a place now Ireland 2,000 years ago, celebrated their New Year on November 1 when it was thought that the realm of gods was rendered clear to man. Christian witches believe this is a time of year when “the curtain is thin between the deceased and the living.”

* The term “Halloween” originates with the Catholic Church and has been distorted in All Hallows Eve. “All Hollows Day” or “True Holy Day” is a November 1 Catholic day of observance in memory of the saints.

* During the 1st century AD, Samhain was assimilated into the festivities of other Roman rituals that took place in October, such as a day to celebrate Pomona, the Roman goddess of the fruits and plants. The emblem of Pomona is the apple and can clarify the root of Halloween apple bobbing.

* In the 1840s, Halloween practice spread to America, with Irish settlers escaping the potato famine. At the point, New England’s popular pranks involved flipping over outhouses and unhinging locks on the fence.

* The tradition of trick-or-treatment is believed to have Irish roots, probably from a door-to-door activity of gathering money and candy or another tradition of asking for soul cookies or sacrifices for deceased relatives. Failure to offer a reward will contribute to a practical joke.

* It is claimed that the Jack-o’-lantern tradition originated from the Irish legend of a man, Jack, who fooled Satan into scaling a tree and then cut an illustration of a cross in the bark to capture the demon. When he passed, he made a bargain with Satan to leave his life behind, but instead, heaven would not accept him away so that he must bear embers in a hollow turnip while he walked everlasting darkness. The tire has been repaired with pumpkin.

* In 2006, US pumpkin-growing states produced one billion pounds with Illinois leading the nation by generating 492 million pounds of the vined orange gourd. There were already at least 100 million pounds of Pumpkin crops in California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All the pumpkins developed by major pumpkin-producing states had a value of $101 million.

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