Every year, it seems we start preparing for Halloween automatically. Buying giant bags of candy, decorating our windows, walkways and homes with witches, pumpkins, ghosts and black cats: symbols of the holiday since who knows when.
But have you ever stopped to think why we associate all of these things with October 31st?
The beginnings of Halloween began back in the 8th century, when Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as All Saints Day, and Oct 31st became All Hallows Eve, a day to honor the dead and look toward the future. All Hallows Eve eventually morphed into Halloween, with more and more traditions evolving over time. One such tradition was Trick or Treating which started out with young women going door to door and attempting to divine the name and nature of their future husbands by doing tricks with yarn or mirrors.
Of course, this evolved into the modern day activity of children going around to houses asking for candy by saying "Trick or Treat"
Around the time of the late 1800's, Halloween became more focused on neighborly
get-togethers and parties to celebrate the day, and the tradition of lighting jack-o-lanterns was revived from the original Samhain celebration which had the superstitious folks lighting pumpkins to protect them from evil spirits. Also, since pumpkins are harvested right before this celebration, they became a totem of the day.
And black cats! Who came up with that one? They're cute! Why do they get associated with bad luck? Well, a looooong time ago, witches were thought to turn themselves into black cats to avoid detection. And just because they have this association, they became another symbol of Halloween. Plus they're the last to get adopted, sad!
We're glad that candy is part of the celebration too. You can find all of these cute decorations as well as cards, candy and other fun stuff to make your Halloween a scream!
Don't forget to bring your little ghosts and goblins down to trick or treat Fremont on Halloween! We will be giving out candy as well as most of our neighboring businesses on Fremont for Fright Night. Plus a spooky haunted house!
Enjoy the festive fall season and come visit us soon!