Halloween had it’s beginnings as an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. This occurred at the end of the harvest and it was believed that the dead would come back to life causing harm to crops and possibly bringing illness to the local people. Commonly bonfires would be created which would attract insects and that would attract bats. For those of you who have ever wondered where the bat symbol came from for Halloween, realize that it all started because of a bonfire amazingly enough!
People wore costumes and masks in an attempt to look like the evil spirits that they were afraid of and in order to make them happy. Trick or treating began in which the trick was actual perceived as a threat by the children who went to the homeowner and played a joke on them if they didn’t offer a confectionary delight. I imagine that was quite a motivator to give something out to the neighborhood. Luckily, this is no longer an issue today.
Traditionally, the Irish have feasted on boiled potato, Curly Kale and raw onions for Halloween. That should keep the evil spirits at bay! Another tradition would be for cleaned coins to be placed inside of the potato for children to find and to keep.
Barnbrack Cake is a fruit cake baked for Halloween and there would typically be excitement over whether you were to find a piece of rag, another coin or maybe even a ring inside your piece of cake. If you found the rag in your piece then your financial future is not looking very bright. If you get a coin, then your financial future is looking very good and if you get a ring in your slice then it signified a new romance or happiness. Why not keep this tradition going and use a nice stacking ring while you’re at it?
Ever wondered where the Jack O’ Lantern came from? It was started by a an Irish blacksmith named Jack. He was denied access into heaven and therefore was forced to wander the earth for eternity, but asked the devil for a light. The devil gave Jack a burning coal that was then placed inside a turnip that had been hollowed out. The Irish villagers then began to place Jack O’Lanterns in their windows to keep the wanderer at bay and when many began to immigrate to the United States we simply had more pumpkins than turnips. I like the tradition personally and could see no other way than carving a pumpkin on Halloween no matter how the tradition was started.