HALLOWEEN IS COMING!!
Who Began the Halloween Tradition: Before 1000 AD, the Celts celebrated the end of the harvest and the start of the long winter ahead with a festival called Samhain. This festival was held on October 31 which is the day the Celts believed the boundary between the living and dead was at it’s weakest. They believed that spirits from the underworld and ghosts of dead people could harm the living or take them back to underworld. To ensure their safety people stayed home on the night of October 31 or if they had to go out, they started dressing up a spirits and ghosts in the hopes of confusing these other worldly spirits.
Other traditions developed to go with All Halloweds Eve “Halloween”.
Turnip Carving: began in Ireland with the legend of Stingy Jack trying to play tricks on the devil. When Jack died, God wouldn’t allow him in heaven and the Devil wouldn’t allow him in hell – instead he was banished to live in eternal night. The Devil’s punishment was to give Jack an ember to light his way. Legend claims Jack placed the ember in a hollowed-out turnip. This legend began the tradition of hollowing out and carving scary faces on the turnips and placing a candle within to ward off the evil spirits.
Pumpkin Carving: Halloween traditions were brought to Canada by Irish and Scottish immigrants in the early 1800’s. They discovered pumpkins were easier to carve than turnips and the tradition of carving the Halloween Pumpkin “Jack O Lantern” began.
Trick or Treating: originated about 1,000 AD, when Christianity spread to the Celtic lands and the church decided to take over the pagan ceremonies and morph them to their own “All Souls Day”. On the day designated to honour the dead, the poor visited the houses of the wealthy and received “soul” cakes. In exchange for the cakes, the poor would pray for the homeowner’s deceased relatives.
The Celtic tradition of dressing up to ward off evil spirits were combined with the Christian, Day of the Dead, celebrations to bring about the modern times dressing up for Halloween and going trick or treating for candy. Did you know that Canadians spent more than $400 million on candy products for Halloween in 2018?
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS
- Avoid masks – try using non-toxic make up instead. Remove the make-up before going to bed to prevent possible skin or eye irritation.
- Costumes should be in light coloured material or have reflective tape on the back and front of the costume to let drivers see your children better
- Make sure the costume doesn’t drag under their feet, and that the have comfortable proper fitting footwear to avoid trips and falls.
- If you live in a cold area, make sure the costume is big enough to put over a warm coat, sweater or even a snowsuit.
- If your child is trick or treating without you
- Make sure they are with at least 3 friends
- Provide them with a flashlight and cell phone
- Plan the route with them beforehand and remind them not to visit houses that are not well lit, and to never go inside a stranger’s house
- Remind them to walk facing traffic, on sidewalks if at all possible – going up one side of the street/road and then back down the other side instead of weaving back and forth from side to side
- Set a curfew – have them check in with you by cell phone during their adventure from time to time
- Remind them not to eat anything until they get home
HAVE A SAFE AND VERY HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!