History of Halloween

history of halloweenWe all love to celebrate Halloween. Dressing up in costumes, parties, carving a pumpkin, trick or treating, we love it all. In fact we love it so much that Halloween has become one of the biggest holidays. Millions of people around the world each year all take part in the same traditions and have boatloads fun. However, did you ever ask yourself where all these traditions come from? Have you ever wondered what is the history of Halloween?

The history of Halloween is an old one. It goes back hundreds and thousands of years. In fact, the very word “Halloween” gives us a clue as to its history. “Halloween” is a corruption of “All Hallows Eve”. All Hallows Eve, in turn, is the day and night before two Christian hold days, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. So, the word “Halloween” basically means the day before the holy days. However, this doesn’t tell the whole history of Halloween. To get this full history, we have to look back even further.

On or around November 1st of our modern calendar, the ancient Celts celebrated one of their most important days, a festival they called Samhain. The word Samhain is pronounced “Sah-ween” and is still echoed by millions each year every time they the word “HalloWEEN”. Samhain was a harvest feast, but is was also a time when the Celts believed that the barrier between this world and world of the afterlife was the thinnest. They believed that on Samhain the spirits of the dead, and more terrible things, were able to walk abroad. To keep the worst of the otherworld away, they lit bonfires, set aside food for the dead and carved grotesque faces into gourds to scare the spirits away from their dwellings.

In an effort to stamp out what they saw as pagan beliefs, Christian church authorities made the day of Samhain and the day after into church holy days. However, the ancient beliefs still flourished and continue through today. Each year when you carve a pumpkin, you honor a tradition that goes back into antiquity.

Halloween Food

halloween foodYou can’t have a Halloween party without plenty of Halloween food for all the ghosts and ghouls attending, right? Fortunately whipping up a bunch Halloween food goodies for your crew couldn’t be easier. All you need is a little time, the right ingredients and, faster than a zombie can mumble “Brains”, you’ve got a Halloween food spread you can be proud of.

The one Halloween food no self-respecting party can be without is snacks and appetizers. Dips, roll-ups, small sandwiches and more are essential for that scary gathering. After all, it’s hard work being terrifying! One of the easiest Halloween snacks to prepare are Zombie Cheese Fingers. All you need are some cheese sticks (preferably Mozzarella for that dead skin look), a bell pepper and some cream cheese. Take a paring knife and chop the pepper into largish, fingernail size chunks. Next, using the same knife, slash shallow, horizontal knuckle creases at the appropriate places on the cheese “fingers”. Finally, attach a pepper fingernail to the end of each finger using a dollop of cream cheese. Viola! You’ve got an an appropriately scary and delicious Halloween food snack.

The only other Halloween food that is absolutely, positively mandatory is dessert. After all, this is the day of trick or treat. Don’t trick your party guests by forgetting the sweet treats! One of the easiest of sweet treats is Wormy Dirt Cups. All you need are some snack pack puddings, a bag of Oreo cookies and some Gummy worms. The first thing you do is make “dirt” by crushing the Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag and then combining them with the pudding. Next you spoon the “dirt” mixture into cups. Finally, you garnish each dirt cup with a couple of delicious gummy worms. Nothing says Halloween more than a cup of dirt!

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

pumpkin carving ideasEasy pumpkin carving ideas are an excellent way to breathe new life into an old Halloween tradition. Face it, pumpkin carving has been around a long time. Sure, the traditional ways to carve that Halloween pumpkin are ok, but wouldn’t you like a pump up your pumpkin this Halloween season? Why not make this year’s pumpkin something special, something to remember, something everyone will “oooh and aaah” about? These pumpkin carving ideas will make it a breeze to carve the best pumpkin ever!

One of the first places to start when thinking about pumpkin carving ideas is with the tools you’re going to use. Remember, the better the tools, the better the end result. The traditional tool for pumpkin carving is the kitchen knife or the pen knife. Unfortunately, neither of these knives was designed to carve the tough flesh and rind of a pumpkin. Because of this, when you carve a pumpkin with these kinds of knives you end up with a less than stellar result. In order to get that first class pumpkin you desire, you need tools designed specifically for carving a design into a pumpkin. Fortunately, these tools are affordable and easy to obtain online. They are also safer than the average knife, so a child can use them too. Once you’ve got a set of pumpkin carving tools, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Let’s face it, even with the best tools, not all of us have the artistic talent to carve a really eye-catching pumpkin. That’s not a problem, since one of the most important pumpkin carving ideas is the use of a pattern or a stencil. Like the right tools, a pattern of stencil insures that you end up with a great result. Fortunately, the best pumpkin carving ideas for faces are available online in affordable packages. All you do is follow the stencil or pattern and you end up with a pumpkin that will make you proud.

Halloween Crafts

halloween craftsHalloween crafts are a great way for you to make this Halloween a “boo-tiful” experience. There’s probably nothing more satisfying than crafting Halloween decorations and knick-knacks. You can use them yourself or give them to friends and family as gifts. Either way Halloween crafts are economical, creative and, most of all, fun.

One of the great things about Halloween crafts is that you don’t have to be “crafty” to make them. In fact, even if you’re all thumbs, there’s hope. That’s because everything you need to craft beautiful Halloween objects is available on-line. This means you can easily obtain all the materials you need to make something special this Halloween.

Another great thing about Halloween crafts is that you can enlist the entire family. Yup, many crafting projects for Halloween are kid friendly. What better way to say “Happy Halloween” then by rounding up the kids or grandkids and making a Halloween project together. Again, you don’t need to be good with your hands to successfully bring these projects to completion. All you need is an internet connection to obtain your supplies, a little time and sooner than you can say “Boo!”, you’ll have made a Halloween craft that will last for years.

The best way to decide what craft project is best for you is to take a look at what’s out there. When you search online, you’ll soon discover a plethora of projects in every category imaginable and for every budget. Many of these projects come with the materials needed, as well as detailed instructions about what you need to do. All you have to do follow the instructions and make the Halloween craft you’ve always dreamed about.

So, come on! Take a look at the many beautiful and easy Halloween crafts out there and make this Halloween special, not only for you but for your loved ones too.

Halloween Traditions

halloween traditionsHalloween is a fun time of year, looked forward to by millions of people around the world. One of the things that makes the day special are the many Halloween traditions passed down from generation to generation. These traditions provide a direct connection from the past to the present. Their symbolism may not always be understood, but their power in the minds and hearts of those who follow them cannot be denied. In some sense, Halloween traditions are what Halloween is all about.

One of the main Halloween traditions is the carving of a scary or grotesque face onto a pumpkin. A candle, or other source of illumination, is then placed inside the pumpkin so as to light up the carved face. This is commonly known as a “jack o’lantern”. Countless people perform this ritual every year. It’s an integral part of Halloween. Where did this tradition start?

Another important Halloween tradition is trick or treating. In this tradition, children in costume go door to door in their neighborhood or community. At each household they knock or ring the doorbell. When the door is answered, the children yell “Trick or Treat!” and the home owner places a small amount of candy in the bag each child carries. Again, trick or treat defines the Halloween experience for millions. Where did this tradition start?

Like many Halloween traditions, the jack o’lantern and trick or treating got their start among the people of Ireland and Scotland. Both countries have Halloween traditions that include going door to door to beg for treats and carving gourds with faces on or around October 31st. When the Irish and Scots emigrated to the United States and Canada, they brought their traditions, including trick or treating and gourd carving, with them. After time, these Old World traditions caught on in popularity in the New World and a whole new aspect of Halloween traditions was born.