Did You Know Halloween Started in Ireland?
Yes. It originated more than 2,000 years ago with the Festival of Samhain, marking the end of the bright half of the year (summer) and the beginning of the dark half (winter). Samhain was a time to honor those who had died as well as gods using pagan rituals.
When Christianity spread throughout Europe, the Samhain rituals faded, and Halloween became the celebrated festival.
Trick or Treat
This ritual started in Ireland and did not involve candy as it does today. According to our Chief Experience Officer, Ward Gahan, "We would 'Sing or Treat' when I was a boy. We'd dress up in rags and a mask and go door to door singing for money."
This was a Celtic tradition when people used to dress in costumes that resembled evil spirits to appease the spirits. The connection between the living and the dead is strongest at Halloween, and when the living dressed up, the spirits would consider you one of their own and not visit your home.
Where did Jack-O-Lantern come from?
Today, jack-o-lanterns are typically carved out of a pumpkin. In Ireland they carved a jack-o-lantern using a turnip since they were plentiful.
The term,“Jack-O-Lanterns” came from an Irish folktale about a lad named Stingy Jack who supposedly invited the Devil to join him for a drink. True to Stingy Jack’s name, he had no interest in paying for drinks, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin for Jack to use to pay for the drinks.
It turns out that Jack placed the ‘coin’ in his pocket next to a cross, preventing the Devil to transform back to his original form. Eventually, Jack freed the Devil as long as he wouldn’t bother him for one year, and when Jack died, the Devil would not claim his soul. Jack continued to ‘trick’ the Devil throughout his lifetime and when Jack died ,he was not admitted to heaven, nor where the Devil lived, and was sent into the dark night with only a burning goal to light his path, hence “Jack of the Lantern.”
Our Treat To You
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What are your Halloween memories?
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