Home travel 4 Popular Halloween Traditions You Know, but Whose Origin You May Not

4 Popular Halloween Traditions You Know, but Whose Origin You May Not


With Halloween just 2 days away, the spooky season is already getting under revelers’ skin. Everything, including fun, takes on spookiness during Halloween, and we all love it, don’t we? Halloween traditions – ranging from trick-or-treating, costume parties, pumpkin carvings to eerie decorations, horror movie binge-watching, hair-raising reads, creepy escape room visits, or taking it to next level with ghost sightings at some of America’s scariest haunted houses – all of them scream spookiness, the hallmark of Halloween.

Have you got plans to fly to the US with your friends for some spine-tingling experiences this Halloween 2021? Perfect! As you look forward to the scariest night of your lives yet, do take a look at the origin of some of your favorite Halloween traditions in the USA. (And if something is brewing inside your head as to how to scare the wits out of your friends, the perfect idea might strike you while digging into the history of popular Halloween traditions, who knows?) Read on!

Carving Jack-O’-Lanterns:

jack o lanterns

Carving pumpkins into goofy faces is so much fun, but do you know the backstory of this Halloween tradition? According to British folklore, a trickster called Stingy Jack tricked the devil twice into extending his lifespan and giving him a word that his soul wouldn’t be claimed after his death. When he finally died, he was neither accepted by God nor the devil. So, Jack helplessly wandered around the Earth for eternity using a carved-out turnip lantern (given by the devil) to light his way.

The locals ended up carving Jack-o’-lanterns to ward off evil spirits, and eventually, pumpkins replaced turnips as they are easier to carve upon than the latter.

Going Trick-or-Treating:


Kids particularly love trick-or-treating, a Halloween tradition that involves dressing up in Halloween costumes and going door to door asking for sweet treats like candies.

Back in the Middle Ages, Celtic people, besides setting a separate table during Samhain for the deceased family members, also left food near the doorway to please the roaming spirits, which otherwise, would resort to playing tricks on the household. Modern trick-or-treating is believed to have originated from a practice called souling, where the poor visited the affluent families and received pastries called ‘soul cakes’ from them upon promising to pray for the souls of their loved ones.

Bobbing for apples:

Bobbing for apples
Source: Popsugar

Halloween symbols often feature pumpkins, apples, cornhusks, autumnal leaves, and other things associated with the fall harvest.

A fun game played during Halloween, bobbing for apples is inspired by a Roman festival celebrated in honor of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees and orchards. This ritual doesn’t have a spooky background as the popular Halloween traditions and is instead associated with love and romance. Romans believed that the first person to pick by mouth the bobbing apple from the tub would be the first among the group (of participants) to get married.

Wearing bizarre Halloween Costumes:

Halloween Costume Parties

You now know that people believed ghosts roamed around during Samhain and that most of the popular Halloween traditions (with their roots in Samhain) intended to drive the ghosts away. So, the Celts took to disguising themselves with the help of masks and weird costumes believing that the spirits would mistake them for other spirits and thus refrain from terrorizing or harming them.

Over time, dressing up in scary Halloween costumes became the theme of Halloween parties attended by huge crowds, revelers from within the country and from abroad. Get your flights booked with Indian Eagle now and don’t miss the spookiest Halloween 2021 parties happening throughout the USA.


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