It’s that time of year again…Halloween! Traditionally a big deal in America, this haunted night is also very popular in the UK. But why is it such a big deal?
What is Halloween?
Annualy falling on 31st October 2018, Halloween can also be refered to as Allhalloween, All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Eve. The day marks the three-day observance of Allhallowtide. This is the part of the year that is dedicated to remebering the dead. Including saints, martyrs as well as the faithfully depearted.
Why do we Carve Pumpkins?
When we think of Halloween, chances are one of the first things that spring to mind are pumpkins. Also known as Jack-O’-Lanterns. Specifically those that have been carved to portray magnificent portraits of people, cartoons, or intricate patterns.
But why is this? What is the reason behind the pumpkin becomming a staple piece to many peoples Halloween activities?
According to an old tale, the jack-o’-lantern gets its name from an Irishman who went by the name Stingy Jack. One day Stingy Jack tricked the Devil into giving him the guarantee that he would never have to go to hell as a result of his many sins.
However, when Stingy Jack did eventually die, what he didn’t know was that his arrangement also banned him from entering heaven. Therefore, Jack banged on the gates of hell to demand his due from the Devil. This resulted in the Devil dooming Stingy Jack to wander the surface of the Earth for all of eternity with only an ember to light his way.
Haunting Halloween Facts
- The first Jack O’Lanters were made from turnips
- Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween
- Halloween is believed to have originated around 4000B.C. This means Halloween has been a holiday for over 6,000 years.
- Ireland is beleived to be the Halloween birthplace.
- The largest ever recorded pumpkin was recorded in 1993 weighing 836 lbs.
- The word “witch” comes from the Old English word wicce, which means wise woman.
- Despite being often associated with Halloween, a full moon on the day itself is very rare. The most recent Halloween full moons appeared in 1955, 1974, 2001. The next one is expected in 2020.
- Halloween is celebrated during the Festival of the Freindly Ghosts in Hong Kong. As a result, food is left out and fires are lit in an attempt to make any angry ghosts happier.
In what U.S city were 29,000 carved pumpkin jack-o-lanterns lit on Halloween night in 2006?
In 2006 thusands of volunteers lit the historic Boston’s Common up with a staggering 29,000 pumpkins.
Who holds the world record for fastest time to carve a Halloween Pumpkin?
Stephen Clarke achieved the fastest time to carve a pumpkin. On a live TV appearence on PIX11 Morning News in New York (USA) Clarke completed the required carving of a complete face, including eyes, nose, mouths and ears in a mind-blowing 16.47 seconds on 31st October 2013.