Halloween Facts for Kids
Ever wonder why we celebrate Halloween or why we go trick-or-treating? Where did Halloween originate from and why do we wear costumes? Read the Halloween facts below to find out the answers to these and other questions. Also, check out Vampire Facts and Pumpkin Facts for Kids.
What is Halloween?
Halloween is an annual holiday that takes place on October 31st. On Halloween children dress up in costumes and go door-to-door trick-or-treating. Children receive a “treat,” usually candy.
Halloween has also been called All Hallows Eve, Witches Night, Lams wool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhain and Summer’s End.
Black and orange are the colors of Halloween. It is believed that the orange color represents harvest and the Fall season. The black color represents death and darkness.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
History of Halloween
Halloween has been associated with the ancient Roman festival of Pomona that celebrated the harvest goddess Pomona.
Halloween has also been associated with the Celtic festival of Samhain or “Summer’s End.”
During medieval times in Ireland and Scotland, the Samhain festival was held at sunset on October 31st and lasted through daylight on November 1st. It marked the ending of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “dark season.”
Some people believed that during Samhain, a door was opened from the underworld and it let the spirits or ghosts into our world.
During Samhain people would put out food and drinks in front of their homes for the spirits and ghosts.
During Samhain people would dress up in costumes to disguise themselves from the dead. They would often go from house to house enjoying each other’s food and drinks.
Halloween was brought to the US by Irish and Scottish immigrants during the late 18th century to the early 19th century.
One of kids favorite Halloween tradition is going trick-or-treating. On Halloween night children dress up in costumes and walk around their neighborhoods going trick-or-treating. Trick-or-treating is walking around knocking on doors asking hoping to receive a piece of candy or other small token. But where did this tradition come from?
It is believed that the idea of trick-or-treating developed in 16th century during the Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain people would go guising. Guising is going door-to-door in disguise singing songs in exchange for food.
Children Originally received fruits and nuts for trick-or-treating.
It is recorded that children starting going trick-or-treating in the U.S in 1911. Trick-or-treating became popular in the US in the 1930’s.
52% of trick-or-treaters prefer chocolate candy such as candy bars over hard candy such as lollipops.
Did you know that over 90% of parents steal their children’s Halloween candy!
Dressing up in Halloween costumes is another fun holiday tradition. People started wearing Halloween costumes to blend in with the supernatural beings and souls of the dead that are believed to walk the streets on Halloween night.
Today children wear a variety of different types of costumes. Some children choose to wear scary costumes such as a witch, zombie or monster. Other children like to dress up like their favorite character from a television show or movie. Many girls dress up like princesses and many boys like to be ninjas. There are also children who dress up in outfits that resemble a hero or someone they look up to. These costumes include a fighter fighter, police officer, army man, basketball/football/baseball or soccer player. There are people who have good imagination and come up with something completing different and out of the box.
The first Jack O’ Lanterns were made out of turnips.
In old Irish folk law, Jack O’ Lanterns came from the legend, Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack was a farmer, when died he was turned away from both heaven and hell. He was forced to roam the streets looking for a final resting place. Legend says that he carved out a turnip, placed a lit piece of coal inside and used it as a lantern. He held it to light his way.
The largest pumpkin on record weighed 2,032 pounds. The record was set on October 11, 2013.
Pumpkins were originally grown in Mexico. Click Here for more pumpkin facts
Pumpkins are not only orange but can grow to be blue, white or green.
Fun Halloween Facts
The word witch comes from the old saxton word “wica” meaning “wise one.”
It is believed that if you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over you.
Magician Harry Houdini (1847-1926) died on Halloween night.
The largest Halloween parade is held in Greenwich Village located in Manhattan, New York
Halloween Around the World
In Mexico, they celebrate Dias de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead on November 1st. It is a big celebration that honors family and friends who have passed away.
In Hong Kong Halloween celebrations are known as Yue Lan meaning Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. During Yue Lan celebrations fires are lit, food and gifts are offered to angry ghosts looking for revenge.
Bat – A small nocturnal flying mammal. Vampires are believed to turn into bats. Click here to find out more about bats.
Bogeyman- A fictional character that is believed to scare children who misbehave.
Boo- A word used to scare people.
Brew- A stew cooked by a witch.
Broomstick – A mode of transportation for a witch.
Candy – Sweet treats.
Cape- A long sleeveless garment that is worn to hang over shoulders. Vampires are wear capes.
Creepy– A feeling of uneasiness or fear.
Costume – An outfit worn as a disguise on Halloween.
Fangs- The two sharp pointy top teeth. Vampires use their fangs to bite humans necks to suck their blood.
Frighten – To scare
Ghost – A spirit of someone who has passed away.
Ghoul – A fictional flesh-eating monster.
Goblin– A fictional mischevious creature that causes trouble.
Grisly– Intense fear, extremely gruesome
Gruesome– Causing repulsion or horror
Halloween – A holiday celebrated on October 31st where children dress up in costume and go trick-or-treating.
Haunted – A place that is often visited by ghosts.
Jack-O-Lantern– A pumpkin that has a carved out face with a candle inside.
Magic – The power to make things happen by mysterious or supernatural forces.
Monster – An imaginal creature that is usually large and ugly and scares children.
Mummy- A dead person that has been wrapped in layers of cloth to preserve their body.
Nightmare- A very scary dream.
Prank– A trick or practical joke.
Skeleton – A firm structure of a living thing that is made of bones.
Skull – The skeleton of the head and face that encloses the brain and supports the jaw.
Spooky – Something that is mildly scary.
Trick-or-Treat– When children dress up in costumes and visit peoples houses asking for candy.
Vampire-(fictional) A living dead person that sleeps in a coffin all day and awakens at night to search for people to bite and suck their blood. Click here for more vampire facts for kids
Warlock– A male witch
Werewolf– (fictional) A person that turns into a wolf when there’s a full moon.
Wicked – Bad or evil.
Witch– A female that is said to have magical powers and cast spells on people.
Witchcraft- Magic that is practiced by witches.
Zombie – (fictional) a walking dead person that roams around feeding on human flesh.