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Halloween Interesting Facts

History of Halloween

witch on a broom






Occurring on the verge between autumn and winter; a time, of plenty and of scarcity, of life and of death, it is a time celebration and superstition. Halloween is thought to stem from the ancient festival of Samhain, of Celtic origin, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward against wandering spirits and ghosts. Pope Gregory III in the eighth century, designated November 1st as a time to honour all saints and martyrs, which became known as ‘All Saints’ Day’, it incorporated some of the aspects of Samhain. The evening before was known as ‘All Hallows’ Eve’ which later became known as Halloween. Halloween has since evolved into a non-religious, community-based fun activity characterized by child-friendly events such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grew shorter and the nights got colder, people would usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

Halloween Facts:

  1. The word "witch" comes from the Old English wicce, meaning "wise woman." In fact, wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.
  2. According to Irish legend, Jack O'Lanterns are named after a stingy man named Jack who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell. He was condemned to wander the Earth, waving his lantern to lead people away from their paths.jackolantern
  3. The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Beni Meier from the Zuericher Oberland in Switzerland, who broke the world record in 2014 with a 2,096.6 lbs. pumpkin.
  4. Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
  5. "Souling" is a medieval Christian precursor to modern-day trick-or-treating. On Hallowmas (November 1), the poor would go door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for soul cakes.
  6. With their link to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (a precursor to Halloween) and later to witches, cats have a permanent place in Halloween folklore. During the ancient celebration of Samhain, Druids were said to throw cats into a fire, often in wicker cages, as part of divination proceedings.
  7. Halloween was influenced by the ancient Roman festival Pomona, which celebrated the harvest goddess of the same name. Many Halloween customs and games that feature apples (such as bobbing for apples) and nuts date from this time. In fact, in the past, Halloween has been called San-Apple Night and Nutcrack Night
  8. Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was one of the most famous and mysterious magicians who ever lived. Strangely enough, he died in 1926 on Halloween night as a result of appendicitis brought on by three stomach punches.
  9. Dressing up as ghouls and other spooks originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits. The Celts believed that disguising themselves this way would allow them to escape the notice of the real spirits wandering the streets during Samhain.
  10. According to legend, if you see a spider on Halloween, it's actually the spirit of a loved one watching you.

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The Last Word is From Three Classic Witches

ALL

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
ALL
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Second Witch
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

witches' scene from macbeth
three witches and a cauldron

First Witch

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.
Third Witch
Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.
First Witch
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.
ALL
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

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