Halloween, to a costume-loving dork like your's truly, is one of the three most awesomest holidays of the year, one of the three Holiest of Holies. (*laugh*) What are my other two? Wouldn't you like to know....tee he heee.
So here, in honor of that Halloween holiday awesomeness, are some random facts. Some of them you probably know, some of them you might not.
- Halloween as we know it is a throwback to "Samhain," of Celtic orgins, or of "Samhuinn." This is not to be pronounced Sam Hane, or Same Hine, or Sam Hiney, or any other hooey like that. It is pronounced "Sow-wen," and this second syllable has since developed into "ween." At the end of the Celtic calendar, Samhain was concerned with the veil between the worlds, between death and life, old year and new year, night lengthening over shortening day--and etc. In other words, have one last party before the harvest runs out and the cold sets in.
- It was Pope Gregory IV who cottoned on to Samhain's popularity and redated All Saints' Day (or All Souls' Day, an earlier name, if I remember correctly) to November 1st, thereby incorporating the pagan holiday (usually a 3 day event) firmly into Christian tradition. This is where we get the "Hallow" part of Halloween. You know, that whole sainty, martyrly, hallowed thing.
- The actual term "Halloween" is first noted in the 17th century. (Earle, Fike and Galkoski)
- Bobbing for apples was a way of divining who would marry. Good thing, too, with all that saliva swapping. Sharing is caring!
- Directly following the close of the 1934 World's Fair, Halloween revelers completely took over 32 miles of streets. (Rogers)
- The term "trick or treat" was first used in print in 1939. (Bonewits)
- Halloween is the now largest commercial holiday in the US. --> This one surprised me; I thought it was still Christmas, but I just read this the other day. Don't remember where, or I'd quote it for you.
- Want to avoid getting tricked? Give out chocolate. According to the U.S. Census, 52 percent of the kids who show up at your door want chocolate. Cuz, you know, the good houses give you candy bars and the bad houses give you a fold-up toothbrush. Guess which house gets TP'd?
- Harry Houdini died on Halloween. That's right. How? He got punched in the gut by a fan. I mean, that's what killed Harry Houdini? A Halloween sucker punch? Go figure.
That's all for now. Any of you know random Halloween facts or origins?