13 Facts About Halloween


One theory holds that many Halloween traditions were influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, which are believed to have pagan roots.

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Halloween is thought to have roots in Christian beliefs and practices.

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Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which are believed to have pagan roots.

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The origins of Halloween customs are typically linked to the Gaelic festival Samhain.

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Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, and mythical monsters.

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In England, from the medieval period, up until the 1930s, people practiced the Christian custom of souling on Halloween, which involved groups of soulers, both Protestant and Catholic, going from parish to parish, begging the rich for soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the souls of the givers and their friends.

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Thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but not trick-or-treating.

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Halloween costumes were traditionally modeled after figures such as vampires, ghosts, skeletons, scary looking witches, and devils.

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Eddie J Smith, in his book Halloween, Hallowed is Thy Name, offers a religious perspective to the wearing of costumes on All Hallows' Eve, suggesting that by dressing up as creatures "who at one time caused us to fear and tremble", people are able to poke fun at Satan "whose kingdom has been plundered by our Saviour".

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Yearly New York's Village Halloween Parade was begun in 1974; it is the world's largest Halloween parade and America's only major nighttime parade, attracting more than 60, 000 costumed participants, two million spectators, and a worldwide television audience.

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Up until the 19th century, the Halloween bonfires were used for divination in parts of Scotland, Wales and Brittany.

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Christian minister Sam Portaro wrote that Halloween is about using "humor and ridicule to confront the power of death".

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In Scotland and Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include children dressing up in costume going "guising", holding parties, while other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays.

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