CITGO INNOVATION ACADEMY
At the CITGO Innovation Academy
Fall is here and with it comes all the awesome scary reads and creepy library displays and some of those traditions that come with Halloween. Like any holiday, Halloween is full of traditions and some of the origins may surprise you, like:
The Celts (from current Ireland) were the first people to wear costumes on Halloween. In A.D., which is when the Celts celebrated, Halloween was known as Samhain and was a time that they believed the veil between the spirit world and the corporal world was porous, allowing the spirits of the recently departed to enter the living world. People wore costumes and masks to ward off any evil spirits during Samhain.
The name “Halloween” comes from the Catholic Church.
In order to incorporate the pagan holidays along with the Christian ones, the Catholic Church chose the period during Samhain as a 3 day holiday. In the 11th Century, the Pope declared October 31 - November 2 to honored the Saints and, during which, early Christians prayed for the recently departed. October 31st became known as “All Hallows Eve” which became “All Hallows Even’” which became “Halloween”.
Jack O’ Lanterns were originally carved from potatoes or turnips.
The name is from the Celtic folk tale “Stingy Farmer Jack” (you can read it here: https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history). There are a lot of “Jack” tales and most involve him tricking the Devil in some way. At some point, Jack was forced to wander purgatory carrying a lump of burning coal from Hell. He carved a lantern from a turnip and used it to guide his soul on its endless journey. In America, pumpkins substituted turnips and they are carved and lit to keep “Jack of the Lantern” away.
Trick or Treating has been around back to Medieval times.
It was sometimes known as “guising” or “souling” but the jist is the same. Poor adults and children would dress up in disguises and beg for food in exchange for songs or prayers. The Irish brought the tradition to America and it evolved into children “begging” for candy in return for not doing a trick on the giver. Aside from a short period during World War II (when sugar was rationed), kids everywhere ring doorbells in the hopes of a KitKat or Milkyway!
All done! So, have a safe and Happy Halloween! Oh, and pick up a scary book to curl up with on All Hallows READ!!!! BLAHHHAHAHAH!!!
Willett, Megan. “13 Facts You Never Knew About Halloween.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 24 Oct. 2013, www.businessinsider.com/13-facts-you-never-knew-about-halloween-2013-10.
History.com Editors. “History of the Jack O' Lantern.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009, www.history.com/topics/halloween/jack-olantern-history.
Dawn Scuderi has a Masters in Library Science from Dominican University. This is her 3rd year as Library Director at LHS.
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