Halloween is the season our little ghosts and goblins go door to door begging for treats and trying to scare each other silly! Spooky stories are told around fires, scary movies appear in theaters and pumpkins are expertly (and not-so-expertly) carved into jack-o-lanterns.
Amid all the commercialism, haunted house tricks, and neighborhood treats gathering, the origins of Halloween are often overlooked. Halloween is much more than just costumes and candy – it is a unique holiday with a rich, interesting history.
Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, can be traced back about 2,000 years to a pre-Christian Celtic festival held around Nov. 1 called Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”), which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic. Souling is a medieval Christian precursor to modern day trick-or-treating. On Hallowmas (November 1), the poor would go door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for soul cakes. Mexico celebrates the Days of the Dead (Días de los Muertos) on the Christian holidays All Saints Day (November 1) and All Souls Day (November 2) instead of Halloween. The townspeople dress up like ghouls and parade down the street.
Fun Facts about Halloween
- The first jack-o-lanterns were actually made from turnips
- Halloween is the 2nd largest commercial holiday (after Christmas)
- Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween
- The word for witch comes from the Old English Wicce which means “wise woman”
- Owls were once thought to be witches in another form
- Ireland is thought to be the birthplace of Halloween
- The largest pumpkin ever measured was 836 pounds
- Teng Chieh or the “Lantern Festival” is one Halloween festival in China
- Halloween and the candy industry are thought to have influenced the acceptance Daylight Saving Time
At ServiceMark Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we encourage you to help make it a SAFE HALLOWEEN for all. Please limit driving during trick-or-treat times, and if you must drive, please slow down and keep a sharp eye open for all our children enjoying this special evening.
Of course, nothing is scarier than a heating system that isn’t keeping you comfortable when you return from trick or treating. If your system needs the attention of trained service professionals, call us 24/7 at 1-800-474-5200 or request an appointment via our website!