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HOLIDAY TRADITIONS – Halloween Tradition Origins

We all have a love for Halloween and its customs, but where did all the traditions come from? Traditions like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, and the color scheme: black and orange are the typical things we perform in the fall time.

Trick-or-treating is awesome for its free candy tradition, Not everyone goes trick-or-treating, so it’s a debatable topic, along with its origins. One very popular theory states that during Samhain, a festivity marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, also known as “the darker half” of the year, Celtic people would leave food out to calm the souls, ghosts, and spirits traveling the Earth on the 31st of October.

Another method or style of trick-or-treating, American style. This tells that modern trick-or-treating stems from belsnickling (tradition in German-American communities), when children would dress up and see if the adults could guess the identities of the disguised guests. If no one could identify them, they would be rewarded with treats.

Jack-o Lanterns, or carved pumpkins, is yet another tradition performed for Halloween. These spooky pumpkins weren’t always pumpkins, but turnips. This tradition originated in Ireland and is based on a legend about a man named Stingy Jack. This character repeatedly trapped the devil and only let him go on the condition that Jack would never end up in the opposite of heaven. Later, when Jack died, he found that Heaven didn’t want him either after all he did with the devil, so he was forced to wander the Earth as a ghost for all eternity. Supposedly, the devil gave Jack a lump of coal and Jack carried it around on a carved turnip to light his way. Then, others began to carve faces in gourds to fend off the evil spirits, like Jack of the Lantern.

Costumes are things we see every year. During Samhain, there were lots of ghosts wandering around the Earth. The Celts had to get really creative to avoid the evil spirits’ terrorism. They would disguise themselves to take out the ghosts and be left alone.

The colors black and orange representing first began in the Celtic festival, Samhain. It was said that black represented the “death of summer”. Orange resembled the autumn harvest season.

Most of these traditions originated in Ireland. We see them every fall and Halloween season. So next time you see one of these traditions you can revert back to these fun facts.

We all have a love for Halloween and its customs, but where did all the traditions come from? Traditions like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, dressing up in costumes, and the color scheme: black and orange are the typical things we perform in the fall time.

Trick-or-treating is awesome for its free candy tradition, Not everyone goes trick-or-treating, so it’s a debatable topic, along with its origins. One very popular theory states that during Samhain, a festivity marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, also known as “the darker half” of the year, Celtic people would leave food out to calm the souls, ghosts, and spirits traveling the Earth on the 31st of October.

Another method or style of trick-or-treating, American style. This tells that modern trick-or-treating stems from belsnickling (tradition in German-American communities), when children would dress up and see if the adults could guess the identities of the disguised guests. If no one could identify them, they would be rewarded with treats.

Jack-o Lanterns, or carved pumpkins, is yet another tradition performed for Halloween. These spooky pumpkins weren’t always pumpkins, but turnips. This tradition originated in Ireland and is based on a legend about a man named Stingy Jack. This character repeatedly trapped the devil and only let him go on the condition that Jack would never end up in the opposite of heaven. Later, when Jack died, he found that Heaven didn’t want him either after all he did with the devil, so he was forced to wander the Earth as a ghost for all eternity. Supposedly, the devil gave Jack a lump of coal and Jack carried it around on a carved turnip to light his way. Then, others began to carve faces in gourds to fend off the evil spirits, like Jack of the Lantern.

Costumes are things we see every year. During Samhain, there were lots of ghosts wandering around the Earth. The Celts had to get really creative to avoid the evil spirits’ terrorism. They would disguise themselves to take out the ghosts and be left alone.

The colors black and orange representing first began in the Celtic festival, Samhain. It was said that black represented the “death of summer”. Orange resembled the autumn harvest season.

Most of these traditions originated in Ireland. We see them every fall and Halloween season. So next time you see one of these traditions you can revert back to these fun facts.

By: Lilly Wittek

Photo Credit: 365 Things Austin

Categories: Article

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