Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Reasons Behind 3 Popular Halloween Traditions

The word "Halloween" dates back to about 1745, as do some of the traditions we still celebrate today. From pumpkin carving and apple bobbing to dressing up for trick-or-treating, Halloween is filled with fun traditions for the whole family. To get in the Halloween spirit, your favorite resort at the Lake of the Ozarks has done some research on 3 popular traditions of this holiday.

Why Do We Dress Up in Costumes?

During the Celtic festival of Samhain, the Celts would sometimes dress in costumes of white clothing and masks or blackface to ward off evil spirits. During this time, people thought the souls of the deceased were out and about. People left food and drinks out to appease these spirits or creatures, so people started dressing up to impersonate them and collect the treats themselves. If the Celts encountered these evil spirits, their disguises would have them mistaken for other spirits and they would be left alone. Scottish and Irish immigrants brought the Halloween tradition of dressing up to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. While different regions celebrated Halloween in their own way, the idea that spirits were out during the holiday was universal. Therefore, people everywhere would dress up and behave differently than they normally would in their everyday life.

Why Do We Go Trick-or-Treating?

Traveling door-to-door collecting candy has been a popular Halloween tradition in the United States for more than 100 years. The actual origins of trick-or-treating however, are a little hazy. The ritual is believed to come from several different places including ancient Celtic festivals, early Roman Catholic holidays, medieval practices and even British politics. During some Celtic celebrations, people dressed up and performed antics in exchange for food and drink. This custom known as "mumming" dates back to the middle ages and is thought to be an antecedent of trick-or-treating. During the 19th century, poor people would visit the homes of the wealthy and receive pastries called "soul cakes" in exchange for a promise to pray for the souls of the homeowners' dead relatives. This ritual was known as "souling" and was later taken up by children who would ask for gifts such as food, money and ale. In Scotland and Ireland, instead of offering to pray for the souls of the dead, the children would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke or perform another sort of “trick” before collecting their treat. Another potential trick-or-treating predecessor is the British custom for children to wear masks and carry effigies while begging for pennies on Guy Fawkes Night, which commemorates the foiling of the so-called Gunpowder Plot in 1605. In the early 20th century, Irish and Scottish communities revived the traditions of souling and guising in the United States.During World War I, children had to refrain from this tradition due to the sugar rationing, but after quickly became standard practice for millions of children in America.

Why Do We Carve Pumpkins?

The tradition of pumpkin carving began about the same time as trick-or-treating, but didn't actually involve a pumpkin at all. Instead, they carved turnips. Children would carry turnip lanterns while traveling door-to-door to collect soul cakes to commemorate the dead. The name "jack-o-lantern" dates back to the 17th century when it literally meant "man with a lantern." By the late 1800s, people started applying the name to those "turnip lanterns," made by scooping out the inside of the turnip, carving the shell into a rude representation of the human face and placing a lighted candle in it. It wasn't until the Irish immigrants brought these traditions to North America that the more commonly available pumpkin became used for the purpose of carving jack-o-lanterns. It wasn't until the mid-to-late 19th century that pumpkin carving was an established Halloween tradition.  

Happy Halloween from Summerset Inn Resort! As we are closing for the season this weekend, we would like to say a big thank you to everyone that helped make the 2015 season so great! We hope to see you again next year; it's never too early to start planning next years vacation to Lake of the Ozarks! Give us a call at 573-348-5073 today and get your dates on the books now!

Summerset Inn Resort & Villas
1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

Keep up with local news, events and product information by Following us!!

No comments:

Post a Comment