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Quick History of Halloween. Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. (Excerpt from the History Channel website)


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The Pumpkin - Jack o' lantern originating from an Irish myth. Having tricked the devil and being too unsavoury a character to be admitted into heaven, the devil made Stingy Jack go off into the night with only a piece of burning coal to light his way. Jack placed the coal in a carved out turnip and has been roaming the earth ever since. In Ireland and Scotland people would carve scary faces into turnips and potatoes to scare Stingy Jack and other evil spirits away while in England they used large beets. Immigrants from these countries found the pumpkin was perfect for making jack o'lanterns when they arrived in America...and so a tradition was born. Here ends the history lesson...