6 Fun & Interesting Halloween Facts to Share with Your Kids

k-12

Are you looking for a way to make Halloween a more educational experience? This blog post offers interesting facts your kids can chew on along with their candy this Halloween season.

Halloween: It's Not Just About the Candy

Halloween is a fun holiday for everyone, regardless of their age. Whether you're accompanying the kids trick-or-treating, dressing up for a party at your office, handing out candy, carving jack-o'-lanterns, or just watching scary movies, there's a tradition that appeals to everybody.

But, like with all holidays and traditions, there are also plenty of interesting things for the curious-minded to learn about Halloween. Here are six fun and interesting facts you can share with your kids this year.

This blog posts offers facts about Halloween

Fact #1: Halloween as a holiday originated with the Irish.

The origins of Halloween are actually rooted in a Celtic tradition, whereby the Irish Celts celebrated a festival called Samhain (summer's end) in honor of the end of the harvest. This was thought to be a time when spirits visited the living.

As Christianity grew more popular in Europe, this holiday morphed into All Saint's Day, or All Hallows' Day, celebrated on November 1st. The celebrations began the day before on October 31st, or All Hallows' Eve.

Fact #2: Trick-or-treating began as a Thanksgiving tradition.

Some people think that trick-or-treating originated with the candy and masks sold in toy stores around Thanksgiving in the 1800s. In this old tradition, kids donned rags and knocked on neighbors' doors, asking for candy, coins, and fruit. However, many adults thought this custom too mischievous an activity for Thanksgiving. By the 1940s, it had become more of a Halloween tradition.

Fact #3: The first jack-o'-lanterns were potatoes and turnips.

And they were named after a man named Jack. According to Irish legend, he was a lost soul who wandered the earth carrying only a turnip containing a piece of burning coal, like a lantern. He was called ''Jack of the Lantern,'' which was eventually shortened to ''Jack-o'-Lantern.''

The Irish used potatoes and turnips to stay true to the legend - and because they didn't grow pumpkins, just lots of potatoes. Once Halloween celebrations began in the United States, Irish immigrants realized that the pumpkins' larger size made them a much better fit for jack-o'-lanterns.

Fact # 4: Halloween in Mexico is called Dia de los Muertos.

Another name for Halloween is the Day of Dead (Dia de los Muertos). Celebrated on November 2nd, it's the day set aside to honor friends and relatives who have passed away. People who celebrate the holiday believe that on Dia de los Muertos, their dead loved ones come to Earth to spend time with the living, offering them their guidance and wisdom and participating in their celebratory events. As such, the ''Day of the Dead'' is seen as a joyous and positive rather than a scary holiday.

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican celebration similar to Halloween

Fact #5: Halloween is celebrated differently in England.

Instead of carving jack-o'-lanterns and trick-or-treating, British kids cut a design into a beet they call a ''pinky.'' Then they carry their beets around in the streets, singing songs and asking for money.

Halloween occurs five days before another big British holiday, Guy Fawkes Day, when many people use bonfires and fireworks to mark the anniversary of the discovery of a plot organized by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. That's a lot of celebrating in one week!

Fact # 6: Italy has its own unique Halloween tradition.

In Italy, All Saints Day is celebrated by baking cookies and pastries in the shape of beans. These cakes are called Beans of the Dead. Other unique Italian traditions include buying chrysanthemum bouquets, lighting a red candle at sunset, and decorating the streets with pumpkins and bonfires.

Italy celebrated All Saints Day with Beans of the Dead

How are you going to celebrate Halloween this year? We hope plenty of learning is involved!

For more interesting facts and information you can share with your kids on any and every topic, check out Study.com's engaging video lessons.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
October 2019
k-12 parent tips

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