Spookily, it’s that time of year again! The nights have drawn in and winter seems upon us but it’s not all doom and gloom as one of our favourite nights of the year is nearly upon us. HALLOWEEN!!! Why do we love Halloween? Well, it’s a bit like us – it’s exciting and it’s good, clean, harmless fun for young and old alike!
Whilst many might believe that Halloween has become too commercialised and overindulgent (let’s face it, Halloween isn’t as cheap as it used to be) it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all. We just love seeing the kids in their costumes and eating left over trick or treat sweets!
It got us thinking - what on earth is Halloween really all about! Our research threw up some interesting facts we just had to share with you!
1. Halloween originated in Ireland and its popularity in the States is attributed to Irish immigrants introducing it in the 19th century.
2. Halloween started as a pagan festival honouring the dead. At the end of October, the year ended and the new year began in November. This was celebrated by lighting purifying bonfires (called Samhain). But the night before Samhain souls of the departed would return temporarily to their hearths, ghost and demons were free to roam the earth.
3. People dressed up as ghosts and other spooky things to disguise themselves so they could walk amongst real spirits wandering the streets.
4. Trick or treating came from a tradition where young people would dress up in costumes and ask for food or money in exchange for songs, poems, dance or other “tricks”.
5. Turnips instead of pumpkins were carved and even potatoes were used too.
6. In Austria some people leave bread, water and a lighted lamp on the table before going to bed on Halloween night. It was once believed that these things would welcome the dead souls back to earth.
7. Black and orange are associated with Halloween as black is typically the symbol of death and orange a symbol of autumn, strength and endurance.
8. According to tradition if you wear your clothes inside out and walk backwards on Halloween, you will see a witch at midnight.
9. Halloween is thought to have originated in 4000 B.C.; it’s been around for over 6,000 years!
10. Pumpkins are classed as a fruit, not as a vegetable!
11. The world’s heaviest pumpkin was grown in a Swiss garden and weighed a whopping 951kg – as much as a small car!
12. In Germany, they put away their knives on Halloween night. They do this so that returning spirits do not us them to harm the living.
13. The most popular children’s costumes are princesses and superheroes. Adults are more likely to dress up as witches and the most popular costume for dogs in 2018 was a pumpkin.
14. Don’t be scared of a spider on Halloween: This is believed to be the spirit of a deceased loved one who is watching over you.
15. Our favourite Halloween joke is - Why was the vampire in a bad mood? Too much B negative!
We hope you have a fantastic Halloween night; however, you may be marking the occasion. And if you fancy visiting somewhere a little bit spooky for a Mini Adventure the following locations should be on your to do list.
Maribor – Solve a clue at the Judgement Tower in the Lent area. The tower is linked to witches as it was here that sentences were pronounced on women who were believed to be witches.
Kranj – There’s nothing scarier than a load of dead bodies. There’re bones galore to be found at the Ossuary in Kranj, dating back thousands of years. It's well worth popping to the Gorenjska Museum in the Town Hall to borrow the key. The exhibition there tells tales of the inhabitants of Kranj from Celts, Romans and Germanic tribes! You will also see information about finds from archaeological digs that took place at the site.
Kamnik – It is said that the spirit of Countess Veronika haunts the Mali Grad area to this day. She refused to give money to the townspeople when they were building a church. She cursed them and was turned into a half-woman, half-snake. The ground swallowed her up with her treasures. She is said to be in the hill beneath her castle guarding her gold coins.