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Jack put the hot coal into a turnip and used it as a lantern. And so the Jack-O-Lantern was born. When Halloween came to America, the tradition shifted to pumpkins as they were easy to procure.
Some Evangelical Christians believe Halloween to be a Satanic festival, as it still carries forward some of its pagan customs, but the Celts, who founded this tradition, never worshipped the devil.
When the Catholic Church rose to power and started burning women suspected of being witches, Samhain was already a distant memory. Though Samhain used to be held on the same day, there is also an astrological reason for this.
The ancient people often looked to the skies for knowledge. Halloween falls exactly in the middle of an equinox and the winter solstice every year.
It also comes at a time of the year when days are shorter which elevates its spooky reputation. Halloween is also one of the four cross-quarter days that comes in a year—the other three are Groundhog Day, May Day and Lammas.
During Samhain, people used to wear costumes to honor the dead spirits. Many years later, the tradition transformed into guising, in which young children wore costumes when they went out to collect fruits and money.
Once the festival reached America, the commercialization of Halloween led to its modern iteration.
Companies began licensing cartoon characters and other favorite pop culture icons to create a wide variety of outfits. Skip to content Got an Odd Story?
Tell us about it and it could be featured on Oddee. You can remain fully anonymous. That said, sexy snowmen can't hold a candle to Halloween's truly bizarre origins even if that's just because a snowman would melt if it held a candle.
Chances are you really have no idea just how weird Halloween truly is, so here are eight facts to fix that Most experts trace trick-or-treating to the European practice of "mumming," or "guysing," in which costume-wearing participants would go door-to-door performing choreographed dances, songs and plays in exchange for treats.
According to Elizabeth Pleck's "Celebrating The Family," the tradition cropped up in America, where it would often take place on Thanksgiving.
In some early versions of trick-or-treating, men paraded door-to-door, and boys often followed, begging for coins. Most of these early trick-or-treaters were poor and actually needed the money, but wealthy children also joined in the fun.
Door-to-door "begging" was mostly stopped in the s, but re-emerged later in the century to distract kids from pulling Halloween pranks.
Halloween's origins come from a Celtic festival for the dead called "Samhain. Granted, the Celts were not solely based in Ireland when these customs started taking shape around the first century B.
This Halloween prototype was eventually disrupted and adapted by Christian missionaries into celebrations closer to what we celebrate today, including partly by the not-Irish St.
Patrick, whose work was later mostly recognized by Americans. According to National Geographic, the holiday was only a "minor religious holiday" until the s in Ireland.
So it's not all that Irish. And for what it's worth, St. Patrick probably wasn't Irish himself, his color was a type of blue , not green, and that story about banishing snakes is actually just a metaphor for his triumph over Irish paganism.
The type of paganism that invented Halloween. If you'd been around for the earliest Halloween celebrations, you might have worn animal skins and heads.
According to ancient Roman records, tribes located in today's Germany and France traditionally wore costumes of animal heads and skins to connect to spirits of the dead.
This tradition continued into modern day celebrations of Samhain, the Celtic holiday that inspired Halloween in America.
On this day, merry-makers often dressed as evil spirits simply by blackening their faces. The leader of the Samhain parades wore a white sheet and carried a wooden horse head or a decorated horse skull a modern Welsh version of this costume is shown above.
Young people also celebrated by cross-dressing. Jack-o'-lanterns were once made out of turnips, beets and potatoes -- not pumpkins.
The jack-o'-lantern comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting sloshed with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money.
Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn't bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul.
Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches.
This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living. When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn't fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell.
So Jack was sent off to roam Earth with only a burning coal for light. In some parts of Ireland, people celebrated Halloween by playing romantic fortune-telling games, according to Nicholas Rogers' "Halloween: