1 – Halloween dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, approximately 2000 years ago. This day symbolized the end of warm weather and the beginning of winter, which was also associated with human death. It seems that in the night of October 31 ghosts returned on earth and they would cause damage. Celtics actually set places at the table for their dead relatives to celebrate this day.
2 – There are several superstitions on Halloween: avoid crossing paths with black cats, walking under ladders, avoid breaking mirrors, and stepping on cracks in the road. Their origins are probably from the Middle Ages.
3 – There are other traditions besides trick-or-treat, and a lot of the rituals on Halloween were focused on divination and seeing the future. It was a popular practice to try to see your future husband in the mirror on Halloween through different rituals and plan whether you are getting married in the next year. For example, in 18 century a matchmaking cook buried a ring in her mashed potatoes while hoping it would bring true love to the person who found it.
4 – In
fortune-tellers advised young women to name hazelnuts for each of their suitors
and then toss them into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes represented
the name of the future husband. Different stories show an opposite meaning, the nut
that burned to ashes symbolized a love that won’t survive. Other rituals
included women drinking certain concoctions that would lead them to dream their
husband on Halloween night. Scotland
5 – In
people made versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving faces into turnips or
potatoes. They placed them to windows or near doors hoping that they would
scare away Singy Jack and other spirits. Scotland
6 – Soul cakes are served on Halloween and they represent the soul of the person that will be freed from Purgatory. This tradition has been around since the Middle Ages. The cakes are usually filled with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, raisins, and currants and marked with a cross. They are combined with wine as an offering for the dead, traditionally on All Saints Day.
7 – A game played on Halloween in the 1900s was one involving walnut shells; people wrote fortunes in milk on white paper which was placed in walnut shells after drying. When the shell was warmed, the milk turned brown and the writing appeared. Another game involved symbols being cut out of paper and placed on a platter; then somebody entered a dark room and had to put their hand on a piece of ice then lay it on the platter. The fortune (paper symbols) of the person would stick on their hand.