Halloween traditions are pretty enjoyable. For hundreds of years, there some indispensable Halloween activities for children and adults. Some of them changed by time and some new traditions were added to this crazy night. All these activities such as ‘trick or treating’, pumpkin decoration, bobbing for apples, etc have interesting pasts and origins.
Let’s see some of the interesting stories of Halloween traditions that achieved to survive since our ancestors to our time. You can share these nice stories with your children and friends on Halloween and perform these activities with children, your friends and neighbors to enjoy while keeping these nice traditions alive. However be careful with bonfires and lanterns and keep your eye on children wandering outside at late hours. Entertain in safety and peace!
Trick or treating:
Trick or treating is the greatest Halloween fun for kids… Small groups of children in their pretty and funny Halloween costumes, going door to door and asking for treats are the joy of Halloween. As a Halloween tradition, they threaten the householders with tricks to get the treats. Of course, they are welcomed with candies, nuts, chocolates.
The origin of knocking the neighbor’s doors for treats on Halloween goes back to Middle Ages. The beggars and poor folk were asking for ‘soul cakes’ from homeowners on Halloween as it was ‘All Souls Day’. These people were generally praying for the deads of the householders to get food in exchange.
There were also groups going from door to door, performing dances and singing songs and these were rewarded with beer. The householders were generous to those people. Maybe they were aftraid of making them angry and getting tricked late at night by them or maybe they were afraid of the souls wandering around on Halloween.
In the past, tricks were much more crazy. During the Samhain feast, they spent the night as a time of chaos before the hard and dark winter time. Women dressed as men and men as women, they moved the animals of people to hide, etc.
In the modern time, it is one of the enjoyable Halloween activities for children. You should help your children be imaginative and have a great night. You can give them ideas for their costumes, little tricks or performances such as singing, reciting little jokes or poems. And of course do not forget to stock some treats at home not to be tricked with little Halloween monsters and share their joy with them. Be generous with candies and nuts and do not make the souls angry!
Jack O Lantern Pumpkin:
Jack O Lantern pumpkin decoration is another remarkable activities of Halloween. Making funny and scary faces out of pumpkins is a real fun and also a kind of art. We cannot think of an Halloween ambiance without illuminating pumpkin heads around. But where did jack o lanterns come from?
The history of the jack o lantern begins with a man called Jack. This Jack is told to be a drunken man and devil came to steal his soul. However Jack achieved to trick devil and made him climb a tree for him. Then he carved a cross on the tree and devil could not go down the tree. Then they made a deal and devil promised him never to take his soul. When Jack dies, he was not accepted to Heaven as he was a drunken and sinful man. He was not accepted to Hell also as Devil promised never to take his soul. He had to go back through the dark path he came. So, Jack asked for a light to go away. Devil gave him a piece of coal from Hell as a light source. Jack has a half eaten turnip with him. He put the coal into the turnip to make a lantern. It is said that Jack is lost on this eternal path with his turnip lantern.
In Ireland, people used to carve the turnips as lanterns to keep devil and evil souls away from their homes. When they immigrated to USA, they discovered that pumpkins were much more easier to carve.
Spend sometime, find a pumpkin decoration pattern and make the most attractive lantern of the neighborhood. Do not forget to buy pumpkin on Halloween to make it a real fun that you can share with your children. And keep the evil souls away from your home.
Bobbing for Apples:
Bobbing for apples is a one of the funny Halloween activities. As an old tradition, apples were placed in a tub full of water and people were bobbing for apples without using their hands or apples were hanging from a string and players were attempting to bite the apple with the arms tied behind the back. This could be a fun for a crazy Halloween party. In the past, it was also believed that the winner of the game, the first one who can catch the apple would marry first, just like the belief of modern life that the one who catches the bridal bouquet would marry first.
As apple is an essential fruit for Halloween time, maybe you can also make candy apples for your children, by sinking apples into a kind of sugar syrup and placing on sticks. If they play bobbing for apples with candy apples, you will come out with sticky little faces.
Other Halloween Traditions:
As our ancestors did in the ancient times, burning bonfires is a part of Halloween celebrations. The bonfires were built in Celtic society to burn their offerings to gods and fire is the element to keep the evil spirits away.
In ancient Samhain feast, fortunetelling had also an essential place. The traditional Halloween cupcakes of Ireland, called barmbracks contain some items such as peas, coins, rings. These all have symbolic meanings for those who find them in their cakes. For example, if somebody finds the cake in the cake, he or she will marry in that year. Eating cakes and fortune telling is a joyful part of the Halloween parties.
You can also create some card games to enjoy children. Lay the child will win the prize under the card when he chooses a card.
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