Traditions and superstitions
Halloween is a tradition- and superstition-filled time of the year. All sorts of myths come out, but not many are sure where they originated. Have you ever wondered where these superstitions came from and why so many people are so quick to believe them?
Here are a few of the oldest Halloween traditions and superstitions explained, some may sound silly, but don’t abandon them just yet. Protect your soul and your luck by dressing up and steering clear of black cats this Halloween; these crazy myths just may have some truth to them.
Black cats:They’re the American symbol of bad luck. They’re in countless Halloween movies (“Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown,” “The Nightmare before Christmas,” etc.), but why did these cute, green-eyed fur balls get stuck with the bad luck? In a medieval myth, it was said that black cats were Satan’s choice of animal when he wanted to speak to witches on earth. But, Western culture is the only one who still follows this myth. In other parts of the world, such as England and Scotland, black cats are considered to be good luck.
Jack-O-Lanterns:They are fun to make and spark creativity, but the story behind them is depressing and creepy. Celtic folktales say that “Jack” attempted to trick the devil and when his plan turned on him, he was banned from Heaven and Hell, leaving him only Purgatory. The devil gave him a burning coal and Jack used a turnip to create a lantern to guide his soul through the darkness. The tradition of putting carved pumpkins on your porch is derived because turnips were hard to come by at the time and pumpkins served as an alternative. It was believed that they would guide the lost spirits through the darkness on Halloween night.
Costumes:Why do we dress up on Halloween? To hide from evil spirits who may curse us, of course. On Halloween, the Samhain, the wall between the spirit world and human world, is at its thinnest. Spirits were said to disguise themselves in human form (usually beggars), knock on doors asking for money and if you turned them away, they would haunt or curse you. If you are wearing a costume, they won’t be able to find you. Another myth says that if you dress like a ghoul, you could trick the evil spirits into thinking you were one of them so they would not attempt to steal your soul from your body.
The information on these Halloween traditions and superstitions was researched from livescience.com.