Thursday, October 25, 2012

Preparing for Halloween

Halloween is not just about dressing up in costumes and asking for candy! It's a holiday steeped in folklore and customs. From carving pumpkins to trick or treating, each ghoulish tradition has its own fascinating tale.

Although it only became popular in America in the early 1900's, Halloween dates back almost 2,000 years when it marked the Celtic New Year. Originally known as Samhain, which means "summer's end" in Gaelic, many Halloween customs and traditions have roots in pagan beliefs and Irish folklore. These customs became popular in America when many Irish fled their country to escape the potato famine of 1846.

Since Samhain marked the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one, the Celtics believed the past and the present were closely linked during this time, allowing the lines between the living and dead to be blurred and the spirits of the deceased to mingle with the living.

They believed that visiting ghosts would disguise themselves in human form and knock on doors asking for money or food. If they were turned away empty-handed, the homeowner risked angering the spirit and being cursed or haunted.

Another Celtic myth was that dressing up as a ghoul or ghost would fool any evil spirits so that the spirits would not try to take their soul.

Orange and Black: these colors were used by the pagans as they celebrated harvest. Orange symbolized the vibrant colors of their crops, while black stood for the death of summer.

Check out this site for lots of activites that will keep you busy over the weekend while preparing for Halloween:

Britshop delivers a slice of home direclty to your doorstep. If you order fast you'll manage to trick or treat in style:

Searching for some spooky cupcake ideas? Look no further, just click here:

And if you are feeling extremly active, check out all HGTV's Halloween ideas (including pumpkin carving templates) here:

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