Monday, October 23, 2006


The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland,

One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.

Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.

The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.

The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

Looking back over the years, Halloween has always been a special day at our house. For weeks ahead, the children would be excited picking out what costumes they would wear, for the most part I made them costumes and there was always a pumpkin to carve. Sometimes even I would wear a costume and go out with the children Trick or treating. We would bring all the candy home, keep some and give the rest to the other children who would come by. J would stay home and pass the candy out. Sometimes he would just leave the basket of candy outside the door and hope that the kids would take only one each.

I remember when we first moved to California, I did not want the children eating so much of candy, so I decided to give out pencils instead, not the regular ones but the ones with cartoon characters on them. As the children stopped by I handed each a pencil, later on I heard that the kids were yelling " dont go to Maya's house, her mother is giving out pencils. So the next year it was candy for all.

Now the children are away at school, many of the children who grew up in this neighborhood have also gone away to school, so there are only a few little ones left. I love to see the children dressed up, carrying their bags and shouting "Trick or Treat." Sometimes I wish my children were little again and we can dress up and walk the streets shouting "Trick or Treat"


Sweta Mohanty 12:59 PM  

how cute a sight would that shouting 'Trick n Treat'..all dressed up :)
Season's greetings to you!

Poetry by Kai 5:25 PM  

that sounds like fun & scary...

on halloween i watched horror movies.



samuru999 6:03 PM  

Nice post Starry!
So informative!
I love having all the little kids come to my house and saying
"trick or treat!"
I always have lots of candy for them!


Sanjay 6:20 PM  

Nice post.. It's nice to see the kids trick n treating. Thanks for the informative post too.

Keshi 6:44 PM  

WOW nice post abt Halloween Starry. TY! U enlightened me on it.

My cousins' kids r all set for trick or treat with their pumpkin faces lol they look so cute!


Anonymous,  6:50 PM  

Thanks for sharing the info....

pria 7:14 PM  

Its always fun eating the candies:-))
I love the costumes when children come door to door for t/t.
Instead of treat have you ever said trick??

indianangel 7:32 PM  

Nice info on halloween ! thanks for sharing starry!

Jayashree 8:26 PM  

Happy Halloween, Lalitha.....I too love to see kids dressed up in their lovely costumes.

Mindinside 8:59 PM  

Nice post ..
Holloween always remind me of fun:)

Lera 9:14 PM  

sounds interestingly spooky....;)

Alexis 9:41 PM  

Trick n treat sounds fun. You had a lot of fun with the kids. That was nice read.

Sreejith Kumar 11:12 PM  

This was interesting! Thanks for the post Starry!

Twisted DNA 1:53 AM  

You pointed out a problem we are facing at the moment. Our kid is close to 2 years so we are going to take him out briefly for trick or treating. But I don't want him to eat that much candy. (Actually until now, he got almost no candy). I will have to find a way to make him not eat the candy. May be I should eat it ;)

"Maya's mom is giving out pencils"

Mr. J 7:33 AM  

This reminds me of a halloween party this 26th.

My costume is....a cardboard replica of Jack Daniels :D

starry nights 8:33 AM  

Thanks sweta. Yes it is a lot of fun when the kids are small.

starry nights 8:34 AM you dress up for halloween.

starry nights 8:34 AM are one of the moms who have tons of candy. I used to also but the kids would start digging into them before Halloween.

starry nights 8:35 AM  

Sanjay..thanks. Any adult Halloween parties for You?

starry nights 8:36 AM  

Raj..thank you. I just thought I would post some Halloween history.

starry nights 8:37 AM  

Pria..I think the teenagers always like to play a trick by throwing eggs on your car.

starry nights 8:37 AM  


starry nights 8:38 AM  

Jayshree. yeah I think Halloween is for kids. so cute in all these different costumes.

starry nights 8:38 AM  

Mindinside..true. it is a fun day.

starry nights 8:39 AM  

Lera.. it is kind of spooky, there are homes decorated with all sorts of spooky stuff.and you will see spooky movies released at this time too.

starry nights 8:40 AM  

Alexis..thanks. I sure had a lot of fun, I think I was more excited than the kids.

starry nights 8:40 AM  

Alexis..thanks. I sure had a lot of fun, I think I was more excited than the kids.

starry nights 8:40 AM  


starry nights 8:43 AM  

Twisted DNA.. nice age to dress up. I used to just bring the candy home kep a few and then put the rest back in the basket outside, the teenagers usually came by later and loved all that candy. I will never forget the kids faces when I gave out the pencils, I dont think anyone in the history of Halloween had done kids were sure embarrased.

starry nights 8:43 AM  

John..I can picture you as Jack Daniels. Just dont have too much at the party. Have fun:)

KK 9:39 AM  

Very nice post on Halloween. It was very informative. You enlightened me on Halloween. Thanks Starry :)

Sudarshan 10:26 AM  

Informative post!!!

I didn't know much about Halloween except that people wear crazy costumes on this day...but now I do..:-)

alex 10:32 AM  


so that what Halloween is all about!

Foodie's Hope 11:12 AM  

Very nice info!! Can't wait for Halloween! Little too early but good to know you already into it! Check mine on Friday! will be ready to scare you!!:))

Shankari 11:45 AM  

We r going to a Halloween party this year and cant decide what to wear!

Dotm 1:54 PM  

I hadn`t heard about Jack the drunkard carving the cross on the tree. If he was thinking that clear, guess he wasn`t drunk that night. LOL. Interesting post.
Thanks for stopping at my blog.
Have a Great Halloween.

Id it is 2:20 PM  

I can't get myself to like this tradition, not that it matters because it continues, nevertheless. I guess there has to be some good in it for it to have sustained so long.
Hope you're feeling better.

starry nights 2:21 PM  

kk..thank you.

starry nights 2:22 PM  

id it come.Its just fun dressing up and stopping at neighbors homes and getting and givng candy. its not bad.

starry nights 2:22 PM  

DotM..thanks. I guess he was not drunk after all.

starry nights 2:23 PM  

Sudarshan..glad u do. its really a lot of fun.

pria 2:24 PM  

Throwing eggs at car is like a smell of skunk. Yuck....

starry nights 2:24 PM  

Alex..the whole story about Halloween.

starry nights 2:25 PM  

Foodies hope..I am guessing there is going to be a whole halloween spread , can't wait to see what you have in store for us. :)

starry nights 2:26 PM  

Pria..yes it will smell awful and the cleaning up is not something people look forward to.


Hey...This is great info...When I was younger I thought tht Halloween was some party time with costumes, then I got to know about the trick and treat (reminds me of one of everybody Loves raymond episodes which features Halloween)...Now I know the real reason...It sure is a pretty sight how they make their homes look scary and also the costumes...:)

Shionge 5:28 PM  

Hey I remembered my first trick or treat in was fun. candy but pencil that's a good one :D

Thanks for sharing.

Blessed 6:07 PM  

how i love trick or treat too. i still dress up...well, i should say that i dress up now like i didn't get to as a kid.
we don't have children but we still give out treats to those on our street. i love to answer the door in costume. i dress up in costume for work. it's just fun. i love to see what the cool costume is for the season. i love popcorn balls, candy corn mixed with nuts and corn chex.
hope you have a spook-taticul halloween!

Poetry by Kai 6:20 PM  

no i used to be...
when i was little
i dressed up as a minnie mouse

jhantu 6:28 PM  

coming bck to the blogosphere after a brief hiatus and now i find u have a new lovely template..

ohh and of course happy diwali and hv a great halloween

Chet 8:01 PM  

A good post, One line that made me laugh, but it was true, was about the outhouses. I grew up with them and used to hate the cold winter days. Us kids did upset outhouses and it wasn't till the early sixties that they disappeared from the scene around where I lived. Have a happy Halloween!

Fresh Ink 8:55 PM  


Halloween is not really celebrated here in S'pore as it is in the US and other western countries. But I've always been fascinated by this rather pagan tradition and love reading on its origins. Good post, starry!

deepsat 9:16 PM  

sounds like fun!! and very informative!!


Suji 11:01 PM  

Nice to have these customs. Its so much fun to be young.

Ganesh Ranganathan 12:39 AM  

very informative post....

Melody 3:05 AM  

Hi there, was just going through my blog archives & saw a comment made by you a long time back...

Nice place you have here! Will be back :)

Happy Halloween!

Ekta 6:16 AM  

Hey lovely post on halloween...didnt know there were so many stories ard it...anyewayz heres wishing happy halloween in advance

adi 6:46 AM  

'trick n treat' maya's mom!

where r my candies? even pencils would do ;)

adi 6:48 AM  

hope u r all right. missed u.
season's greetings starry!

Appu 7:30 AM  

trick or treat, never understood this interesting celebration. thats a good collection of clarifications

starry nights 8:27 AM  

Scribblez..I never thought about the history of Halloween, just thought it was a fun thing to do.Once I dressed as a withch and was walking with my kids and saw a few other witches, they called out" Hey sister good to see you" it was kind of fun.we would be thinking of costumes right after labor day.

starry nights 8:28 AM  

Shionge..Yeah pencils. kids happy with pencils rather than candy..No way. I always laugh about it .

starry nights 8:31 AM  

Blessed..I am like to dress up. and took lots of pictures in all those spooky costumes.Once I got some dry ice put it in a caldron and the kids had a blast to see the smoke coming out of it .

starry nights 8:31 AM  

Kai..thats cute. My daughter dressed up as Minnie mouse one year too.

starry nights 8:32 AM  

Chet that was funny. good memories. have a happy Halloween , dont eat too much candy.

starry nights 8:34 AM  

Fresh ink..thanks.It is just fun for kids and even adults. it brings out the kid in each one of us.

starry nights 8:34 AM  


starry nights 8:34 AM  

Suji..yeah to be a kid again.would love it.

starry nights 8:35 AM you know all about Halloween.

starry nights 8:36 AM  

Jhantu..where have you been. Missed you.What are you going to be for Halloween.something scary?Any parties planned.?

starry nights 8:37 AM  

Melody..good to see you back.take care.thanks for stopping by.

starry nights 8:37 AM  

Ekta..thanks. How have you been doing?

starry nights 8:38 AM  

Adi..Maya"s Mom has candy for you anytime.Not just at Halloween. Take care Adi. thanks for your kind thoughts.

starry nights 8:39 AM you know all about Halloween.

christabelle 9:33 AM  

I really like this info about haloween dunno why I always have this feeling that haloween is associated with demonic stuff, am I wrong?

Isha 3:22 PM  

get well soon :P

divya 4:35 PM  

every festival brings back old family memories as i read ur post i thought of my mom who must have wished her daughter came home for diwali..

Anonymous,  8:39 PM  

Trick or treat starry!! :)
Happy Halloween! :) [is that the right thing to greet? ]
Have seen a lot of movies/dramas about it.. first time i am reading about it.
Thank you!

Avi 12:03 AM  

Hmmm... loads of interesting info! Thanks a ton :)

FrozenThoughtzz... 12:27 AM  

heyy i like d luk of ur template or blog wuddeva..

Priyankari 12:54 AM  

Hi, heard about Halloween sometime back on the Discovery Channel. but ur post made a really good read. njoyed:)

artnavy 1:38 AM  

Informative for me who has seen Halloween only in the movies

Jeevan 4:29 AM  

Trick or Treat,Trick or Treat,Trick or Treat...... That very sweet to know about Halloween day.

Pritika Gupta 6:13 AM  

Hey nice post.. got to know so much bout Halloween..:)

Abhishek Upadhyay 6:55 AM  

that was so sweet post.Children will prefer candy anytime over pencils.
I never knew this haloween story....thanks for sharing it with us.We dont celebrate this in India seems to be big fun.

Contented 7:39 AM  

Informative as it is! Shud I get any candy for coming back...:P

starry nights 7:58 AM  

christabelle...I dont know why people associate it with pagens nowadays, because it is no longer practiced. I see it as a fun day for kids to dress up and go out into the neighborhood. nothing more than that.did not even think of what it means or if it was bad.

starry nights 7:58 AM  

Isha Reddy....Thank you for your kind thoughts.

starry nights 8:00 AM  

Divya..sure they do bring back old memories and most of them good ones. I am sure your mother looks back fondly of the time when you were home celebrating Diwali.

starry nights 8:01 AM  

Sojourner...welcome to my blog and please do stop by again. Yes it is Happy Halloween. Most of the time it is fun for kids but adults also have these halloween parties where couples dress up and stuff.

starry nights 8:02 AM  

Avi..thanks. I am glad you know all about Halloween now.

starry nights 8:03 AM  

Frozen thoughtzz ...Welcome to my blog and please do stop by again. thank you.

starry nights 8:03 AM  

Priyankari...Thank you.there are a lot of scary movies released at Halloween also.

starry nights 8:04 AM  


starry nights 8:04 AM  

Jeevan..thanks. come trick or treat to my home and you will get lots of candy not pencils.

starry nights 8:05 AM  

Pritika Gupta...welcome to my blog and please do stop by again. thanks .

starry nights 8:08 AM  

Abhishek..thanks. Yes I gave out pencils only once and after that it was candy every year, Made my children happy because no body teased them at school.

starry nights 8:08 AM  

Contented...Candy anytime for you my friend,not just at Halloween. stop by.

Poetry by Kai 9:11 AM  

thank u as always


amu (amrita) 12:31 AM  

Terrific! you have collaged all the halloween info under one hut. it was very informative. i knew about the celtic belief behind the celebration of Halloween. but you have referred about other beliefs too.
missing the good old times? wat better way to leave past the shadows of the bygone years and indulge yourself in the upcoming one, by making your candy bag bigger and fuller?

Neers 6:41 AM  

:) hows you, babe??? how was diwlai?

Neers 9:48 PM  

Starry, thats so true!

Anali 7:18 AM  

Great post! I hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Robyn 10:26 AM  

Hi there!

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing all the info. What are YOU going to dress up as this year? :)

I watched The Shining over the weekend and I'm still spooked!

Take care,

Sojourner 8:12 AM  

Happy Halloween!

Anonymous,  3:41 AM  

hey it was a treat going through the archives.. the writing flowed so smoothly that i just kept going!!

Hope Dr "B" (hope its him;) will get your back straightened out :)

Take care!

Anonymous,  6:52 PM  

hey starry we are in different time no depriving sleep on that(only on other things.. sometimes;) and i thought i told u not to mention it X)

Cheers :)

starry nights 9:16 PM  

Sojourner .... do hope Dr B fixes my back. Did not realize that we are in different time zones. he he he.

emmanuel 5:08 AM  

interesting post......

i'm so sorry that of late i really forget to read such nice posts......

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