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Why We Carve Pumpkins And Hand Out Candy At Halloween.

Happy Halloween From Fate - Here are some Halloween Facts we came across this weekend.

The jack-o’-lantern has a long history with Halloween, although our favorite demonic faces haven’t always been carved out of pumpkins.

Their origin comes from an Irish myth about Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil for his own monetary gain. When Jack died, God didn’t allow him into heaven, and the Devil didn’t let him into hell, so Jack was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity. In Ireland, people started to carve demonic faces out of turnips to frighten away Jack’s wandering soul. When Irish immigrants moved to the U.S., they began carving jack-o’-lanterns from pumpkins, as these were native to the region.

But how did jack-o’-lanterns become associated with Halloween? Halloween is based on the Celtic festival Samhain, a celebration in ancient Britain and Ireland that marked the end of summer and the beginning of the new year on November 1. It was believed that during Samhain the souls of those who had died that year traveled to the otherworld and that other souls would return to visit their homes.

In the 8th century CE, the Roman Catholic Church moved All Saints’ Day, a day celebrating the church’s saints, to November 1. This meant that All Hallows’ Eve (or Halloween) fell on October 31. Traditions from Samhain remained, such as wearing disguises to hide yourself from the souls wandering around your home. The folklore about Stingy Jack was quickly incorporated into Halloween, and we’ve been carving pumpkins—or turnips—ever since.

By Cydney Grannan

Why Do You Hand Out Candy on Halloween?

Trick-or-treating hasn't always involved sacks of sugary candy, but its origins did incorporate other types of treats. Souling during Samhain involved people in need going door-to-door for "soul cakes." These were spiced cookies made to honor the dead, and those who received them promised to pray for the deceased. Another early Halloween tradition, known as guising, featured children in disguises who would knock on people's doors to collect food for the Samhain celebration.

These traditions evolved into what we know as modern trick-or-treating in the 1930s. However, even during the early 20th century, people did not hand out candy. Instead, it was customary to offer trick-or-treaters baked goods like cakes, cookies, and popcorn balls, or nuts, fruits, or coins. But making these treats was time-consuming and expensive.The Rise of Commercial Halloween Candy When sugar rationing ended post-World War II, candy manufacturers started to market candy as a convenient alternative to homemade goodies. So, trick-or-treaters began to fill their bags with treats like Milky Way bars, Pixy Stix, and licorice. However, after an incident in 1974 involving poisoned candy and unrelated reports of razor blades found in Halloween apples, a wave of fear swept parents across the United States. Sealed commercial candy soon became the only suitable or safe option. Today, people still hand out individually wrapped candy as well as safe non-food alternatives like toys or crayons.


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