Some fast facts on Halloween

Halloween is a ritual mostly aligned with the United States, but did you know that its origins are said to have come from traditions created in Europe?

Celebrated on October 31 each year, Halloween is said to have originated from Pagan, Celtic and Christian influences.

It is said the day was born from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would put on costumes and light bonfires to ward off spirits which were said to be able to transport from the Otherworld to the world of the living on the last day of summer in the northern hemisphere.

Later another influence on the modern-day celebration is said to be the Christian celebration of All Hallow's Day, which was set as November 1 by Pope Gregory IV in 835.

The day was proclaimed as a time to pray for recently departed souls and honour all saints and martyrs.

Hundreds of years on when the first settlers arrived in the US some of these traditions were upheld, stemming from religious beliefs.

It is thought the current tradition of Halloween is the result of a blend of those customs along with some influences from the culture of American Indians.

In the 20th century the custom of trick or treat evolved from the push to create celebrations that brought together neighbours and communities to what it is today - a fun time to be had for people of all ages.

If you are taking part in trick or treat download the poster pictured below (right click and save the image for printing) to place at your front gate or door.

DID YOU KNOW...?

ROMANTIC NOTIONS - Early Halloween games such as bobbing for apples, eating certain foods or taking part in any number of rituals would help predict who a young woman would marry and when.

SPOOKY FACES - Carved pumpkins, called Jack O'Lanterns, are named after the legend of Stingy Jack. The tale tells of Jack, an Irishman, who tricked the devil a number of times before he was sentenced to wander the earth trying to lead people away from their path with a lantern.

WITCHING HOUR - It is said that if a person wears their clothes inside out and walks backwards on Halloween they will see a witch at midnight.

MOVIE MAYHEM - The movie Halloween was filmed in three weeks and began with the title of The Babysitter Murders.

MAGIC MAN - Magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween night in 1926, from peritonitis caused by a ruptured appendix.

MIRROR, MIRROR - According to one legend if a young lady stared into a mirror in a dark room on Halloween, she would see the face of the man she would marry.

ANOTHER DAY - Similar to Halloween, the Day of the Dead is celebrated in Mexico on November 2 instead of the last day in October.

This story Halloween myths, monsters: Poster first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.