Halloween is coming,
Witches will be after you!
Skeletons, cats and big black bats,
Ghosts and pumpkins too!
Not only kids like it, adults do too! Halloween is one of the oldest holidays, and let’s face it, one of the most popular. Although it originates from religious beliefs, it is still celebrated today by many people of different religious backgrounds. It’s a great time to dress in spooky costumes and have fun. And here an idea from us: how about playing a trivia game about Halloween? Do you think you know enough about this celebration to win? We’ll see about that!
1. What is the name of the Celtic harvest festival that many people believe Halloween is based on?
There is some debate as to how many Samhain traditions made their way into the Christian holiday of Halloween. This is because the Celtic people had an oral rather than written tradition and so much about the life of druids and the traditions of the Celtic people has been lost.
Halloween is the eve of All Saints Day and we do know that All Saints Day was moved from May 13th to coincide with Samhain, which was held around October 31st to November 1st. By moving the Christian holiday to the date of a pagan festival converted pagans could keep celebrating their traditional holidays while still being Christians. So it wouldn’t be surprising if newly converted pagans incorporated their old traditions into the Christian holiday.
2. In what two countries was “guising”, the tradition of dressing up in costumes, and going door to food for coins on Halloween most popular?
Scotland and Ireland
Guising during Hallowmas, the Christian holiday that Halloween kicks off, has been going at least since the 16th century in Scotland. Guising along with souling are thought by many to be the origins of modern day trick-or-treating.
3. In what country was the first written account of children using the phrase “trick or treat” on Halloween?
Here is the line from the newspaper:
The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.
“‘Trick or Treat’ Is Demand,” Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta), November 4, 1927, p. 5, dateline Blackie, Alberta, Nov. 3.
4. In what country did carving jack o’ lanterns originate?
Just like today, faces were carved into the turnips and a candle was put inside. They were used to frighten people and to drive away evil spirits.
5. What was Bram Stoker’s original name for Dracula?
He changed the name from Wampyr to Dracula after he borrowed the book An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia from the library in Witby in 1890 during his summer vacation.
6. Which phobia means you have an intense fear of Halloween?
This is a real, diagnosable specific phobia the effects people every year. Like other specific phobias, anxiety and even terror are associated with something “specific”, in this case things related to Halloween.
7. What will you see when you look in a mirror on Halloween night?
There are various superstitions regarding this
Some say you will see a killer about to attack you. Others say you will see a ghost/witch/zombie. A popular tale will involve you seeing a dead girl, “Bloody Mary”, who died looking into a mirror on Halloween night and comes back every Halloween night to see if her killer is looking back at her in the mirror. Legends of the late 1800s to early 1900s said that single women could see the face of their future husband on Halloween by staring into a mirror in a darkened room.
8. When were Halloween greetings cards first made?
End of the 19th century.
The concept originated in the 1890s United States, experiencing a peak of popularity there in the early 1900s. Until the advent of the common home telephone, Halloween cards occupied a role similar to Christmas cards and birthday cards. Today, many cards from the popular designers of the period are sought after as collectables.
So, how many right answers did you get? We hope you had fun reading this and found out some new things about Halloween. And now’s the time to share your thoughts with your folks back home.