Halloween Traditions

Halloween has lots of fascinating traditions. For many of these traditions, their origins are just as remarkable as the practices themselves. Today, we’ll take a look at the heritage behind our favorite Halloween customs.

The Jack O’Lantern

During October, Jack O’Lanterns are everywhere. These carved pumpkins are one of the first signs of autumn in the United States. But you’d probably be surprised to learn that the original Jack O’Lanterns were carved from turnips instead of pumpkins. The practice originated in Ireland and is based on the legend of Stingy Jack. Jack trapped the Devil and only let him go when he promised that Jack would never go to Hell. But when Jack died, Heaven did not want him, either, so he was doomed to roam the earth as a ghost for eternity. To light his way in the world, Jack carved out a turnip and placed a lump of burning coal inside. The Irish, to scare Jack and other evil spirits away, started carving their own turnips and placing candles inside. Since pumpkins are native to America, and more plentiful than turnips, they became the medium of choice for Jack O’Lanterns.


Black Cats

Black cats figure in a lot of Halloween decorations, and people consider it a bad omen when these dark felines cross their path at any time during the year. Why are they feared, though, and how did they come to be associated with Halloween? This tradition goes back to Europe in the Middle Ages when they became associated with witches. Since many accused witches were herbalists, many of them kept cats to keep mice away from their precious healing ingredients. So, cats in general became associated with witches, and it was also believed that a witch could turn herself into a cat. Since the color black was associated with the Devil, black cats became associated with evil.  And, when pagan Halloween traditions became associated with witches and dark magic, the black cats went with them.

Candy Corn

This tri-colored candy does not have an ancient origin, but it is a big part of Halloween nevertheless. It was first invented in Philadelphia in the 1880s, but it didn’t become really popular until a major candy company began selling it in 1898. At the time, it was called “Chicken Feed” because its shape resembled the corn fed to chickens. Due to its autumnal color scheme, it has always been associated with the autumn season. It became firmly associated with Halloween when trick-or-treating became popular in the 1950s.

Happy Halloween!

Next Article
  • What If You Could Drink Your Book?

    Imagine being stuck on the beach with your favorite book, enjoying the sun and relaxing. When suddenly you realized that you forgot your water bottle. Oh no! The sun begins to scorch you and your mouth becomes parched. Well, what if you were able to drink your book? An amazing...

    Read More
  • Intelligence Comes From Your Mother

    If you are smart and doing well in life, well it may just be one more reason to says thanks to your mom. It seems Mothers have yet another reason to give themselves a well-earned pat on the back. New research published by Psychology Spot shows that a child’s intelligence generally comes from their mother....

    Read More
  • Can You Actually Sneeze While Sleeping?

    If you have ever woken yourself up by a loud sneeze during your sleep. Then you probably were not actually sleeping. Sleep researchers actually believe it is literally impossible to sneeze while you sleep. Though, at the time of writing this article, there has not actually been any recognized medical...

    Read More
  • World War I Created A Fashion Icon

    One of the most interesting things that happened during world wars throughout history is actually the innovation in technology that they caused. Some researchers even estimate that if the world had not gone through World War I and World War II then we could even be 20 years behind in terms of scientific discovery. [caption...

    Read More
  • Does Yawning Have Anything To Do With Being Tired?

    Yawning is one of the most uncontrollable and contagious body actions. Sometimes you may just find yourself thinking about yawning, suddenly to be yawning yourself. You may see your friend yawn or even an animal, again, suddenly you are yawning! And did you know that even today scientist are really not sure why we yawn...

    Read More
  • Most Wasabi Served In Sushi Restaurants Is Fake

    The sad fact is, if you are a sushi lover, then you probably never actually tasted real wasabi. Even if you have gone to dozens of sushi restaurants, you may still never have had the real thing. In America, an enormous amount of wasabi is just a quick mix of...

    Read More