With the spooky tradition of Halloween here today (always 31st October worldwide) we thought a quick revision on the origins of Halloween was in order – you know the kids are going to ask! Plus read on for some hot and happening Halloween food ideas.
The Origin of Halloween
Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Years’ on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year would rise up and roam the earth on this night.
Halloween as it is currently celebrated with costumes, trick or treat, and superstitions, takes from this Druid Holiday.
In America, Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending where consumers will spend over $2.5 billion during Halloween. That’s a whole lot of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods.
It is believed that the Irish began the tradition of Trick or Treating. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve – a Catholic celebration – Irish townsfolk would visit neighbours and ask for contributions of food for a feast in the town.
In their homeland, the Irish carved turnips and put coals or small candles inside. They were placed outside their homes on All Hallow’s Eve (31st October) to ward off evil spirits for All Saints Day (1 November). The Irish were also known to use potatoes and Swedes (a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip).
When Irish Immigrants came to America, they quickly discovered that Jack O’Lanterns were much easier to carve out of pumpkins and began using them. This tradition quickly spread to the general population in America and elsewhere.
For wonderful Halloween recipes, including Pumpkin Pie, Meringue Bones, Crispy Bat Wings and Witches Hat Calzone, just search Halloween in the search box above, or click on our popular Recipes page.