Halloween is right around the corner! We’ve only got a little more than a week before it’s time for the creepiest, crawliest holiday of the year. Before you don your costumes and hit the streets in search of candy, here’s a few facts you might not have known about Halloween.
Halloween Is the Real Irish Holiday
Halloween originated as a Celtic festival known as Samhain. Samhain was a festival for the dead when the Celts believed the barriers between the physical and spiritual world were the weakest, allowing spirits to roam the earth for a time. Starting around the first century B.C., the Celts created the ritual of dressing up in costumes and wearing masks to ward off or confuse visiting spirits. They would also leave treats outside of their front doors to appease any spirits that weren’t warded off by their outfits.
While the Celts weren’t solely confined to modern day Ireland, the Irish Celts would also contribute to the modern day holiday with the addition of carving jack-o-lanterns.
Why Do We Carve Jack-O-Lanterns? Beets Me!
I’d wager that we’ve all spent time carving up pumpkins with crazy faces in our Halloween celebrations. Why do we do this, and where did it come from?
Jack-o-lanterns originated from an old Irish Celtic folk tale about a mischievous farmer named Jack, or Stingy Jack. In the tale, Jack had a habit of playing tricks on the devil that got him into trouble. After he died, he was cursed to a purgatory spent aimlessly wandering with only a lump of burning coal for a light. Jack put his coal inside a turnip and created a lantern to light his way. In memory of Jack, the Irish would carve up turnips, beets, and potatoes into jack-o-lanterns. Though we now carve pumpkins, we should really be carving up beets or turnips!
We Can Thank Cartoons for Our Modern Day Trick-or-Treating
While the act of giving treats goes back a long ways in Halloween history, we can thank 20th century cartoons for bringing the activity back.
While the Irish brought trick-or-treating to America and popularized it in the early 20th century, it quickly died out due to the sugar rationing that took place during World War II. After the ration ended, cartoons like the comic strip “Peanuts” helped bring the treat giving back to our children by depicting characters in costume going door-to-door for candy.
Looking to Celebrate? Look to Brooks!
Every year, the Brooks Law Group hosts a Halloween-themed event in partnership with the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce. If you’re looking to celebrate the season right, we’d love for you to join us!
The event will take place inside of our office at 105 First Street N in Winter Haven, Florida. We’ll kick things off at 5:30pm and party until 7:00pm. Visitors can expect fun for the whole family, games and activities, a costume contest, food from Chick-Fil-A, and more! While costumes are not required, they’re certainly encouraged. Members of our staff and the Chamber will be selecting a winner with the best costume for adults and for children.