Halloween

Travel
Halloween is almost here and children all across the nation are getting excited about the candy they will be collecting and the fun and spooky costumes they will wear. Parents are scrounging for last minute costume purchases or creation. The streets will be filled with smiling (and scary) faces knocking on your door. Don’t forget to shop for small goodies you can give to the kids. Pumpkins are for sale at your local markets and farms and you can check online for instructions about making Jack-o-lanterns. But do you ever think about what this holiday, Halloween, is really about? Halloween takes place on the last day of October, and the word itself means "hallowed evening.” Early Europeans celebrated it as All Hallows' Eve. All Hallows' Eve, which occurred on October 31 and All Saints' Day, which occurred on November 1 both had to do with saints. People dressed up as saints and sang songs as they visited their neighbors. Children would ask for "soul cakes," a pastry similar to biscuits. And here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know - the word hallows means saints. They shortened All Hallows’ Eve to Halloween, and that’s how we got the name for the holiday. Halloween also has its origin in the ancient pagan holiday Samhain celebrated by the Celts. They used costumes to ward off ghosts, feasted and made lanterns out of whatever gourds they had. That’s how Jack-o-lanterns come into the story. Since the Christian Era, the pagan aspects of the holiday were lessened, and over the years the holiday has been modernized. Most people don’t know about its religious origins. Trick or treat?