Origin of Halloween

Halloween, one of the oldest and most popular holidays, is an annual celebration on October 31.  Dating back 2,000 years, it has roots in the Celtic pagan festival Samhain and the Christian All Saints Day, though it is largely a secular celebration today.  Around the time of the Great Famine, Irish immigrants brought varieties of many Halloween traditions to North America.

The name is derived from All Hallows’ Even.  Even is derived from evening, which can be further shortened to e’en.  Hence, the holiday’s original name of Hallowe’en.

The feast of Samhain, honoring the dead, was held every October 31, the end of the Celtic calendar.  A harvest festival, Samhain signified the end of summer with huge bonfires.  Believing that souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages, and that not all were friendly, Celts set out gifts or treats to pacify them.  This is where our tradition of trick-or-treating comes from.

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Halloween Costumes

Trick or treat!  It’s that time again.  Time to carve your pumpkins, visit haunted houses, and figure out what to do about a costume.  That’s right, it’s October and Halloween is on the way.

Let’s start with the pumpkin.  You have several options here.  You can carve a face (jack’o’lantern) or a design.  I prefer the design technique, but it’s important to use a stencil if you are like me, and were not graced with artistic talents.  You can find tips and designs here: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/halloween/mpatterns.htm.  You can use the seeds to make a great holiday snack.  Here’s a recipe for over-roasted pumpkin seeds: http://homecooking.about.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/blv310.htm.

It’s also a fun time of year to take the kids to a haunted house/hayride/etc.  Here are some places near Arlington: http://www.festivals-and-shows.com/haunted-houses-in-virginia.html

And as far as costumes, always the hardest part for me, you can go to places such as a Spirit Halloween Store (5857 Leesburg Pike, Ste. B. in Falls Church, VA) which have huge selections of ready-to-go costumes, or you can make your own costumes.  Here’s some ideas for home made costumes: http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/halloweentheme/a/091399.htm.

Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!

Claudia webb RE/MAX Allegiance
Northern Virginia Real Estate