Halloween is here! Happy Halloween!!!!! :D
A few facts on Halloween:
Halloween (or Hallowe'en), a contraction of All-Hallows-Eve (as in the day before "All Hallows" or "All Souls" Day), is an annual festival observed on October 31. In recent years the American inspired (and US media driven) commercialisation of this date (previously marked in the UK by children carving lanterns in turnips or swedes and little else - pumpkins being scarce) has resulted in the importing of US traditions such as "trick-or-treating", costume parties, and carving lanterns from real pumpkins which are now cultivated specially for this purpose.
The true origins of Halloween are to be found in the Celtic and Irish cultures. The original name of Halloween is Samhain which derives from old irish for "summer's end".
Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory.The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.
The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novel Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy).Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters. Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors.