6 Weird Halloween Facts That You Didn’t Know About

Halloween, although not officially recognized in Malaysia, the idea of it is still picked up by locals as they’ll still utilize the day to dress up in the one-of-a-kind costumes and even go trick-or-treating if applicable. 

For Malaysians, we may think of Halloween as a secondary ghost festival month, because that literally what it is in the culture here. Apart from not having jack-o-lanterns outside our homes, it is unlikely that we’d be decorating our whole house with the theme of the undead as well.

What may come as weird to us is just differences that we aren’t succumbed to, so what other weird facts are other about this “day of the dead” type holiday anyway?

1) Dance or treat?

In some earlier versions of trick-or-treating, men would practice choreographed dances while going door-to-door to perform them, and not far behind were often boys who would follow them and beg for coins. What started as a bid to beg for money has now made its way among the wealthy; although banned in the 1930s, it resurfaced later to stop kids from pulling Halloween pranks instead. 

2) More Irish than American

The origins of Halloween came from a Celtic festival of the dead called “Samhain”. Belief is that ghosts of the dead will roam the Earth on this day and people dressed up as ghost and leave “treats” out on the doorsteps to please the “passers”. Irish Celtics were believed to invented jack-o-lanterns, and all this were then adopted by Christian missionaries as to what we celebrate today. Experts say that the holiday was basically invented by Irish-Americans, similar to the invention of St. Patrick’s Day.

3) Animal Skin and Heads

Ancient Romans record tribes in present day Germany and France that traditionally wear animal heads and skin to connect with the dead, this continued on to today’s Samhain celebrations. Those celebrating would also dress as evil spirits by blackening their faces while the leader of the parades would wear a white sheet and carried either a wooden horse head or decorated horse skull.

4) Jack-o-lanterns made of turnips, beetroots and potatoes

Contrary to the jack-o-lantern pumpkin we often see today in modern culture, the tale behind the idea actually use turnips, beets and potatoes instead. Dubbed Stingy Jack in folklore, Jack would place coal in the root vegetables and roam the Earth, never being able to claim his soul for hell.

5) Halloween and romance

Some people in Ireland often celebrated Halloween with a romantic twist, they would play fortune-telling games that allegedly predicted who they would marry and when. Similar to Valentine’s Day, people would see this as a day to mingle with the opposite sex and perhaps even scoop out a potential lover.

6) Black Cats

Although unclear if black cats are really that significant during Halloween, there are still superstitious people out there who believe in the whole “black cats are an omen of evil” thingamajig and would take it upon themselves to perform ritual sacrifices of the cats. In this case, some animal shelters would refuse to letting people adopt them, fearful of what people may misuse the term adopting for during the holidays.

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