The scariest day of the year, All Hallows Eve or Halloween has evolved from a festival celebrating all things supernatural to a world wide holiday, loved by children and adults alike. Halloween started as the symbol of dark secrets, witchcraft and mysterious phenomena, but is today a commercial holiday and an occasion for kids to dress up as their favorite character and earn their deserved candy by trick or treating. It is also the unique holiday which celebrates the fears that the human race has overcome, an amazing combination between the darkness of the past and the vibrating colors of the present. Most of the Halloween facts and information are already known, but there are still some interesting things that we can bet you haven’t heard of. If you want to learn more about the origins, symbols and history of Halloween, read the following article with Halloween Facts for Kids.
Halloween Facts For Kids
1. What are the origins of Halloween?
Halloween is one of the most eclectic celebrations in the world because it has traditions and symbols from various festivals in different ages of history. The Feralia roman festival, paying tribute to the dead, is one of them, along with another roman festival, Pomona. The latter is the source for all the earth and vegetation related traditions of Halloween, since it was dedicated to the roman goddess of trees and fruits. The Celtic festival named Samuin, celebrating the end of the summer and the start of a new cycle, is where this holiday got its main roots. All Saints Day was later introduced by the catholic church with the purpose of replacing the Samuin pagan traditions. The name Halloween started as Alhowmesse (meaning All Saints Day in middle English), and has gone through many variations until it reached, in the 20th century, its current form.
2. Which are the main symbols of Halloween?
Here’s a short list with the most interesting Halloween symbols:
• Halloween would not be the same without black cats. They are thought to be incarnations of supernatural creatures in many cultures of the world. In Europe of the Middle Ages, it was believed that powerful witches could take the shape of black cats and the Celtic religions claimed that they were lost souls of humans, which could not find peace after death. Because on the Halloween night tradition says that the veil between the dead and the living is lifted, black cats were viewed as transportation vessels for vengeful souls and thus the common fear of them is understandable.
• Skulls and skeletons are also symbols of Halloween, due to their connections to the human soul. Regarded as the universal symbol of death, the gruesome image sent by skeletons spawn the fear of the unknown that follows the end of our physical life.
• Jack O’Lanterns are a tradition that first appeared in Ireland. They were carved to keep bad spirits away and protect the house against bad luck. They later became the universal symbol of Halloween.
• Which is one of the first things that you think about when you say Halloween? That’s right, it’s probably a witch. They inspired fear since ancient times with their mysterious powers and dangerous dark magic. It is believed that they are most powerful on Halloween night and that they ride on their brooms in search of lost souls.
3. How old is this celebration?
The origins of Halloween span for more than 6 000 years, the first festivals similar to this holiday, such as Feralia, Pomona and Samuin taking place in the year 4000 B.C.
4. Black and orange
The colors black and orange are widely viewed as trademarks of Halloween and embody the essence of this holiday. Orange is the symbol of autumn, harvest and life, while black is the symbol of death, darkness and the small veil between the living and the dead.
5. How did trick or treating appear?
This tradition first appeared in the Middle Ages, when poor people would dress up and go from door to door, where they would receive a small pie in exchange for prayers. This pie was called a soul pie and it was believed that eating one would release a soul from the purgatory.
6. Halloween as a commercial holiday
After Christmas, Halloween is the top selling holiday in the world. Although some countries, like France and Australia, are against it, saying it has too much commercial value, Halloween still remains one of the most appreciated celebrations in many cultures. In America only, 3 billion dollars are spent every year on costumes and haunted house bring revenues of half of billion dollars. Let’s not forget about the candy. 2 billion dollars are spent every year on candy for the trick or treaters.
Learn more about Halloween: Halloween Facts for Kids