It’ll soon be October. And that means one thing: Halloween! Every year we carve pumpkins into scary faces, turn old sheets into ghost costumes, and hand out sweets to children knocking on your door.
But have you ever wondered why we do this, and what it all means? If you have, we’ll try and answer that question for you. And if you haven’t, please read on as the question might come up in a pub quiz.
Halloween or Hallowe’en to use its correct name dates back around 2000 years ago, when the Pagans celebrated harvest time. The traditional Halloween colours of black and orange come from this time too, as the orange represents the autumn harvest, and the black symbolises the dark.
Christianity also plays a big part in Halloween’s history. The beginning of November is known as All Saints Day - or Hallowmas, All Hallows and Hallowtide – and is when Christians honour the saints and pray for recently departed souls. It was thought that some of these souls wanted revenge on the living, so terrified Christians wore masks to hide from them, something children across the world still do today.
Carving pumpkins, or jack-o-lanterns, was done to remember souls in purgatory, and bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits.
Trick or treating dates back to the middle ages, when children would go begging for treats from their neighbours during holiday time. And in 1800s America, the end of the harvest season saw people play practical jokes on one another, eating sweets and dressing up. In the 1930s, a spate of nasty “tricks” led to the practice replaced by children knocking on doors for treats instead.
Today’s Halloween celebrations combine the old and the new, and it’s the second biggest time of year for retail sales behind Christmas, with Halloween sweets sales totalling £2b annually in the USA. It’s not just kids that get into the spirit of Halloween either; in 2009 adult Halloween costumes accounted for 62% of sales!
If you’re organising a Halloween party or event in Wrexham, let your fellow Wrexhamites know here by adding it to our site.
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The team hereat thebestof Wrexham are Amanda Wynne Evans, Susan Miller and Morgan Nunns. Together we let the world know all that's great in and around Wrexham!