Halloween Traditions

Happy Halloween! For many people Halloween is a night of costumes and candy, but the holiday actually comes from the Gaelic festival Samhain. Samhain, which translates to "summer's end" in Gaelic. Some of the traditions we love in Halloween are centuries old, such as carving Jack-O'-lanterns. While others, such as candy corn are more modern traditions. On this spooky night of Halloween I wanted to share with you all the meaning behind a few Halloween traditions.

Carving Jack-o'-lanterns origin is actually quite sinister and tragic. Celtic folklore tells the tale of a drunken farmer named Jack who tricked the devil. The story goes that Jack used the lantern to guide his lost soul. However his trickery resulted in him being turned away from both the gates of heaven and hell after he died. The Celts also believed that placing Jack-o'-lanterns outside would help guide lost spirits home when they wander the streets on Halloween. Jack-o'-lanterns also scare evil spirits away with their frightening carved faces. When Irish families fleed to North America during the Irish potato famine of 1846, the tradition came with them. Now carving pumpkins is a fun Halloween activity. 

Halloween Costumes
It is believed that during Samhain, ghosts of the dead could mingle with the living. The superstition was that the visiting ghosts were able to disguise themselves as humans. Another myth was that dressing up would fool the evil spirits into thinking that you were one of them. You would avoid them taking your soul. Now in the U.S., trick-or-treating became a Halloween tradition around the late 1950s.

Halloween Colors
Everyone knows the traditional Halloween colors are orange and black. These colors actually originally came from the pagan celebration of autumn. Orange symbolized the colors of the crops and turning leaves. While black symbolized the death of summer and the changing season. Over time, other colors like purple, yellow, and green were introduced into the color scheme of Halloween. 

Candy Corn
Candy corn is probably the most memorable candy during Halloween. Candy corn was invented in the late 1880s and began to be mass produced in the early 1900s. The orange, yellow and white candy is meant to resemble a corn kernel. Did you know you can assemble this candy and make it look like corn on the cob? Really! click here. This adorable candy was a huge hit and to this day remains a popular treat during Halloween.
Candy Apples
Who doesn't love a good candy apple covered in caramel and peanuts? Candy apples were a very popular Halloween treat in North America. For many years this sugary fruit on a stick was handed out during Halloween. However as time past, parents became more concerns over unwrapped candy and eventually the tradition of passing these out during Halloween stopped. Today, candy apples are still enjoyed among people. This delicious treat can be enjoyed in many different ways with a variety of toppings. 

Black Cats, Spiders, Bats
We have all heard the saying, you will have bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. Black cats were often used as symbols of bad luck. Their bad reputation goes back to the Dark Ages, when witch hunts were common. Later on bats and spiders joined the ranks of black cats as being witch's evil companions. Now spiders and bats are displayed as Halloween decorations and black cats have become many household cats.

I hope you enjoyed learning the origin to some of our favorite Halloween traditions. Happy Halloween!


  1. Happy Halloween! Ahhh I love candy corn and now I want to go eat some😋

    1. I haven't had candy corn in years but I don't think I like it. Happy Halloween!

  2. Some history just in time for Halloween, Happy Halloween!

  3. Learned something new about Halloween. Dope post.

    1. Thank you! I am glad you did. (Insert hand-shake) Happy Halloween!


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