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 these fun Halloween facts for kids below to find out the answers to these questions and more. Also, check out Vampire Facts, Werewolf Facts and Pumpkin Facts for Kids.
What is Halloween?
Halloween is an annual holiday that takes place on October 31st. It is the 2nd most anticipated holiday for kids. It is only beat out by Christmas. 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, Lamswool, Snap-Apple Night, Samhain, and Summer’s End.
Black and orange are the colors of Halloween. It is believed that the orange color represents the Fall harvest and the Fall season. The black color represents death and darkness.
Samhainophobia is the fear of Halloween.
History of Halloween
Some people believe that Halloween is based solely on evil spirits and death but this isn’t true. Halloween has been associated with the ancient Roman festival of Pomona that celebrated the harvest goddess Pomona.
Halloween has also been associated with the ancient 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 end 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. The food and drinks were offerings to please 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 the kid’s favorite Halloween traditions 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 to hope to receive a piece of candy or another small token. But where did this tradition come from?
It is believed that the idea of trick-or-treating developed in the 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 1930s.
52% of trick-or-treaters prefer chocolate candy such as Snickers, Reeses, or M&Ms over hard candy such as lollipops or other sweets.
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 as 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 Firefighter, police officer, army man, basketball/football/baseball or soccer player. There are people who have a good imagination and come up with something completely different and out of the box.
Some family members who go out trick-or-treating together will dress up in matching themed costumes. Some of these costumes will include characters from the same movie or television show such as the characters from the Incredibles movies, Wizard of oz, Ghostbusters, or Toy Story.
Besides trick-or-treating, there are many other Halloween activities that people participate in on Halloween or during the Halloween and Fall harvest season. In some areas, Harvest festivals happened every weekend starting late September through October 31st. Some activities that take place at these festivals include scarecrow making and other Fall crafts, hayrides, apple and pumpkin picking, and picking sunflowers, or mums.
During this season there also many delicious treats made out of apples and pumpkins to try. Don’t forget all the Halloween candy that is also available.
Horror films are always out during the Halloween season. Many people spend their evenings cuddled up on the couch watching scary movies or Halloween specials with loved ones. Remember never watch alone!
Haunted Houses are also popular during Halloween. There are so many to chose from. While visiting a hunted house can be a fun family activity make sure you do your research first. Some hunted houses are family-oriented while others will truly scare even the bravest of adults.
During the season there are many Halloween parties or costume parties. Children or adults come to the party dressed up in their Halloween costume. Some activities include apple bobbing, pinatas filled with Halloween candy, dance games with Halloween music, touch and feel mystery boxes, costume contest, and scary scene photo booth. Click here for more activities. Sometimes the best part of the Halloween party is scary food. Click here for Halloween food ideas.
Jack-O-Lanterns are pumpkins that have been scooped out and have carved out faces. They usually have a light inside that shines at night.
Did you know that the first Jack O’ Lanterns weren’t made out of pumpkins? It’s true they 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 for Kids
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
All Saints Day is the day after Halloween. All Saints Day is also known as All Hallows Day, Hallowmas, and the Feast of All Saints. In the Christian faith, it is a holiday that celebrates saints.
Many people are superstitious of black cats. Some believe they bring you bad luck while others think they are good luck. Black cats have often been a symbol of Halloween and have been portrayed as pets to wicked witches.
Soul cakes are round bite-size cakes that were made to celebrate the dead. These cakes were mainly made during Halloween or All Souls Day. Soul cakes were part of the Christian tradition and made popular in Medieval Europe. This isn’t celebrated anymore but In some countries around the world such as Portugal and Phillippines, this tradition still lives on.
Traditionally when we think about candy corn we think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Fall season. But did you know candy corn is not the number one rated candy for Halloween? The most popular candy for Halloween is Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
Like during Christmas, many people decorate their homes with decorations for Halloween. Some people put up black and orange lights on their house. They may also put up displays of skulls, skeletons, ghouls, zombies, pumpkins, and witches around bonfires.
How People Celebrate Halloween Around the World
In Mexico, they celebrate All Souls Day also known as Dias de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead on November 2nd. 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.
Did you know that some people celebrate the night before Halloween? October 30th is Mischief Night. Mischief Night has also been called Goosey Night, Cabbage Night, Devil’s Night. It is mostly celebrated in some regions of North America. It is a night where people mostly teenagers and children perform pranks on one another.
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 wear capes.
Creepy– A feeling of uneasiness or fear.
Costume – An outfit worn as a disguise on Halloween.
Evil Spirits – Ghosts that intend to due harm to others.
Fangs- The two sharp pointy top teeth. Vampires use their fangs to bite human 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 mischievous 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.
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.
Mask – A face covering a person wears to disguise themselves.
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.
November 1- The first day of November and All Saints Day
October 31- The last day of October and the date of Halloween
Prank– A trick or practical joke.
Samhainophobia: The fear of Halloween
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 people’s 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.
Check out these fun Halloween Party Activities
Hope you enjoyed reading Halloween Facts for Kids and learned lots of amazing fun facts. Please remember to check out kidsplayandcreate’s Halloween page for fun facts, activities, crafts, and more.