Jack o'Lanterns weren't made of pumpkins
The first Jack O'Lanterns were not made from pumpkins but of turnips, potatoes and beets. Jack O'Lanterns come from an old folklore tale about a man called Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil into promising that he would not claim Jack's soul.
When Jack died, God did not want him in Heaven and, as the Devil could not take Jack to Hell, Jack was sent to roam the Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip for a lantern and, from that day, people started calling him "Jack of the Lantern".
Halloween is Irish
Halloween is believed to have originated from Samhain: a Celtic festival marking the time when cattle were brought in from fields, to protect them from the winter and for slaughter. During this time, Celts believed that fairies found it easier to enter our world and would roam the Earth, so it was customary to leave treats outside houses for them. If you didn't, you risked being at the receiving end of a fairy's prank – which could be very unpleasant indeed.
Halloween Colours Explained
Black and orange are typically associated with Halloween. Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and, along with brown and gold, stands for the harvest and autumn. Black is typically a symbol of death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.
Trick or Treating Originates from Ancient Begging
The act used to be called mumming or guising, where people would don a disguise or a costume – usually made from straw – and go around the village asking for food or cakes. Occasionally, the whole town would wait at home and then follow the mummers around when they came to their door, eventually all congregating in a central square where the mummers would perform for the crowd.
Animal Shelters May Not Allow You To Adopt Black Cats
It may be medieval christian propaganda, but the legends say that druids and pagan leaders in the ancient festival of Samhain would throw cats, especially black cats into a fire, alive. They were often kept in wicker cages, and the whole cage was thrown in, as part of a divination ritual to see the future.
Bobbing for Apples
Halloween was influenced by the ancient Roman festival Pomona, which celebrated the harvest goddess of the same name. Many Halloween customs and games that feature apples (such as bobbing for apples) and nuts date from this time. In fact, in the past, Halloween has been called San-Apple Night and Nutcrack Night