15 Oct 2009


more participants here

13. Historical things about Halloween

1. Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain

2. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

3. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

4. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes.

5. in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

6. The festival has its roots in France and the British Isles. In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.

7. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition.

8. By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment.

9. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration.

10. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.

11. In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get dressed up in costumes and spend the evening "trick-or-treating" in their neighborhoods.

12. Halloween has become increasingly popular in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Austria since the early 1990s. From early October, stores are full of merchandising related to the popular Halloween themes. Students and little children dress up on Halloween for parties and small parades. Trick-or-treating is uncommon,

13. Other European countries under the American influence start with Halloween parties and decorations too.


I started to pay attention to Halloween since 2006 when I started blogging and saw all the decorations on American blogs and heard about the festivities and customs. Now I celebrate Halloween in blogworld at least and a little at home.


Tracie Nall said...

Very interesting list. Lots of things that I didn't know, especially about the European celebration/non-celebrations.

Happy TT!

Alice Audrey said...

I can easily see myself wandering around a bonfire in my deer head telling people's fortunes.

MaR said...

Halloween is here to stay!! I was in Hamburg two years ago for Halloween...my MIL had bought treats for the neighborhood kids, it was hard to believe but they all came to the door and with the funniest poems (and threats! in case they didn't get candy!) This is very new there too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. Great list :)

diane b said...

I don't like it very much and suprise suprise I found an American blogger who doesn't like it either.

CountryDew said...

What a great TT; lots of good information there. I love Halloween; I particularly wish Americans were better at honoring the dead. We're not very good at that as a society.

Hootin' Anni said...

By now...you KNOW how I love Halloween...this list was MOST enjoyable and interesting.

My Thursday 13 is Halloween Themed jokes...come on over for some laughs. [You'll find it below my Thursday Thunks...scroll down a bit.]

Click HERE

Maribeth said...

I think I am the only one I know who does not like Halloween. I had a bad experience as a child. Anyway. I am always happy when it is over.

Happily Retired Gal said...

Timely thirteen with interesting info. Thanks for sharing ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Unknown said...

It'a great to see there is still fun to be had in the world today. Happy T13!

colleen said...

The church co-opted so many of the best country holidays. I didn't know Halloween originated in Ireland but I knew it was pagan.

Tinsie said...

We celebrate Halloween too, but more than that we celebrate Guy Fawkes night a few days later :-)

Gledwood said...

Isn't Halloween the same thing as "Walpurgisnacht" that appears in Faust?

The English translation my German teacher recorded for me from BBC Radio 3 had these classic lines

Faust (looking lecherously on):

I see young witches bare to the buff!
And old ones dressed, wisely enough.

Which I thought really entertaining. It's one of very few parts where the translation appears better than the original.

But you wouldn't believe how much I have to use the dictionary to plough through THAT!

I discovered Faust when I was still in school and thought part 1 fantastic. Part 2 is a bit boring and Germanneoclassical. I don't think Greek and Latin poetic forms fit the German language very nicely at all ~ any more than they do English. But try telling the great Goethe that!

Gledwood said...

O BTW thanks for your remarks on my schlechtes Deutsch, but couldn't I say

"mein hochtierisches Deutsch"? I'm sure Christiane F used such language around Bahnhof Zoo ...

Poopsie aka Blue said...

Hi there!
Gosh - you have more blogs than me, so am unsure where to say my thanks!!!

It has been great to recieve your 'Comments' on my posts.
I do love feedback even though I procrastinate re returning it!

You have a wonderful array of blogs, I will try to follow.

Journeywoman said...

Great list. Thanks for sharing. Happy TT.

Melli said...

You really did your research Gattina! Well done! This is just the way it has been taught in our schools.

bluedreamer27 said...

Hello my friend sorry if i am not being around here in your blog for such a long time... I have so many important things to do, we are affected by Typhoon Ondoy whoi attacked the Philippines recently, Im helping my dad in fixing the damages brought to us by that natural calamity, I know every thing will be back to normal... Its nice to be here again in your blog
Hope you have a great day and God Bless

By the way i got a new site, hope you can visit me there if you have time
Blue Dreamer

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I enjoyed all the information on Halloween. Some information I knew but other information was new to me.

I live to far out of town for young people to come by my house. Every year I purchase candy to give out just in case. I end up eating it myself.

I used to make candy apples which I let a young friend give out to all the children in our local school, which had about 50 students back then. I believe it has less than 40 now.

Jeanne said...

This was a great blog. Boo :O

claudie said...

A good report Gattina! I like when I learn something reading a blog and this information about Halloween give a perfect vision about all we have to now about the origine of this event!
Ici halloween ne semble pas marcher très fort cette année!!!