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Happy Halloween! by Mind Map: Happy Halloween!
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Happy Halloween!

Origins

Christian holy day of All Saints

Originating from the Old English term for All Saints Day: Eallra Hālgena ǣfen, Halloween, or Hallowe'en as previous spelled, is a shortened form of All Hallows Even, where even is a shortened form of evening.

Gaelic festival of Samhain

Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".

Ancient Gaels believed that the border between this world and the spirit world was at it's weakest during Samhain, and thus the tradition of wearing costumes to ward off evil spirits began.

Spooky symbols

British, Irish, and Welsh folk traditions speak of a Brazen Head, which may have connections to the ancient Celtic practice of headhunting.

The most common Halloween symbol, the Jack-O'-Lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack. Apparently, this farmer tricked the Devil into climbing a tree, and then trapped him there by carving a cross into the tree trunk. In return, the Devil placed a curse on Jack, tormenting him to roam the earth forever more with the only light he had: a candle inside a hallowed out turnip.

Trick or Treat

Originally originating with the Gaelic tradition of wearing costumes to ward off evil spirits, since the late 18th century, dressing in costume on Halloween has been a popular activity for both children and adults alike.

Today's modern Halloween includes the practice of trick or treat, whereby costumed children will travel from door-to-door asking homeowners for a treat, or a trick. This 'trick' is generally harmless, but the most popular response is to give the costumed celebrants some form of a treat - candy, fruit, money, etc..

In some parts of Ireland and Scotland, children still take part in guising - a practice similar to trick or treating, but one that involves a small show, dance, or ghost story to receive their treat.

It's Haunted!

Haunted attractions of all shapes and sizes are popular events associated with Halloween.

While difficult to pinpoint, Haunted houses may have originated with Jaycee's charity fundraising events.

Today's modern 'functions of fright' range from corn mazes and hayrides, right on through to full production Haunted Houses that involve special effects on par with Hollywood productions.