This year, NCH is going all out for our Halloween celebrations! Therefore, being the humanities student that I am, with a strange curiosity to know a little bit more about the world, I thought I’d share some facts you may not know about the Autumnal celebration.
Halloween has been influenced by Christian dogma
This is because it is celebrated on the evening before All Hallows’ Day. Since the days of the early Church, major feasts such as All Hallows’ had vigils that began the night before and the event was a time to honour the saints, martyrs and recently departed souls who were yet to reach Heaven.
England doesn’t go as crazy for Halloween as our friends across the pond
Irish immigrants brought the Samhain festival to America as a way to signify the end of the harvest season and the beginning of Winter. “Ghost turnip” carving and guising became common practice, but the notion of horror and evil was not the main focus.
In contrast, in Northern Europe, horror could not be easily translated to humour, but rather reminded society of the Black Death of the Middle Ages. It has also been said that Halloween did not take hold here due to its proximity to our Bonfire Night, which commemorates the failure of the November 1605 Gunpowder Plot by a gang of Roman Catholic activists.
Halloween’s commercialisation has been going on for longer than you might think
It started in the 1930s, when costumes, postcards and paper decorations started to be produced. Nowadays, you will see Halloween sweets and costumes in shops from late August and in the USA, they are spending north of $5 billion on their celebrations!