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Halloween, which is rooted in superstitions and secular celebrations, scares up memories of costume parties, make believe, and mounds of candy. But, did you know it all started as a trick to predict the future? Today, communities bribe little devils with sweets for good behavior — heaven help the house that gives out toothbrushes!

History of Halloween
Trick-or-treat Through Time
Halloween and Trick-or-treat Timeline
Ghoulish Halloween Crafts

History of Halloween
Halloween dates back two thousand years to Samhain (pronounced sow-in), the Celtic festival of the dead. Celtic priests burned crops and sacrificed animals in large bonfires, hoping restless ghosts would tell them the future.

By the Middle Ages, after the edict of Pope Boniface IV, Christians dressed like angels, devils, and saints in All Hallows parades. Nowadays, children dress in costumes and knock on doors asking for candy.

Fast Fact: Why Halloween?

  • Hallow – to make holy
  • Even – Old English way to write evening
  • All Hallows Even – merged into Hallowe'en, then Halloween

 

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Trick-or-treat Through Time
As the name changed, so did the customs. The Celts wore masks and costumes to make the ghosts believe they were spirits. They also believed that leaving food and wine outside their doors stopped ghosts from entering their homes.

In the Middle Ages, All Hallows celebrations included costumes and masks. The poor begged for food, ale, and money in exchange for prayers for dead relatives.

Today, children wear costumes and pretend to be whomever or whatever they want. Halloween has become the great candy grab with parties and door-to-door trick-or-treating. Annually, Americans spend 2.5 billion for Halloween costumes, tricks, and treats.

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Ghoulish Halloween Crafts
Modern times call for modern decorations. We no longer scare spirits away, but invite the wee ones in. Try these easy crafts to welcome present-day trick-or-treaters:

Pumpkin Planter
Eye of Newt Vase

Pumpkin Planter
Dress up your flowers for Halloween with this organic planter.

    "Ingredients"

    • 1 pumpkin
    • 1 potted plant (tip: mums look great and love the cold!)
    • 1 knife
    • 1 large spoon or ladle
    • 1 plastic bag or some old newspaper

    Instructions

    1. Get your potted plant first. Your pumpkin should be a little taller and wider than the plant’s pot.
    2. Carve a hole in the top of your pumpkin larger than your pot. Hollow out the pumpkin.
    3. Carve a design like a Happy Halloween message into the side of your pumpkin. At dusk on Halloween, drop a lit glow stick in your pumpkin behind your design.
    4. Drop in your potted plant. Place just outside your door. Now you have a pumpkin planter to welcome guests, ghouls, and goblins.

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Eye of Newt Vase
It's the vase that stares back! A cluster of eyes surround your flower stems in a vase of witches’ brew.

    "Ingredients"

    • 1 bunch of white grapes
    • 1 paring knife
    • 1 glass jar or bowl
    • Red and blue food coloring
    • 1 plastic or metal spoon (not wooden)
    • 1 see-through glass vase (no pattern cut into the glass)
    • 1 bouquet of your favorite flowers (tip: blood-red roses would be gruesomely delightful!)
    • 1 votive candle in clear holder

    Instructions

    1. Peel the skin off the grapes. Put the grapes in the jar or bowl and fill with water to just above the grape line. Mix in the red food coloring. Leave for one day. The grapes absorb the food coloring.
    2. On the second day, mix in some blue food coloring. After a few hours, pull out a grape. You’ll see red and purple veins. It should look like a pickled eye.
    3. Drain the colored water and set aside the grapes.
    4. Put the flowers in a vase and bunch the stems together. Gently spoon in the grapes around the flower stems. Then fill the vase with water.
    5. Put your vase up high so the first things seen are the eyes. Light a votive behind the vase for an eerie glow.
    6. For extra ghoulishness, add a few drops of red food coloring to the water. Do not mix. The food coloring will sink to the bottom. You’ll have a blood trail around the eyeballs.


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Sources:
www.historychannel.com
www.merriam-webster.com

 

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