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Winter Sports begin Friday, November 16

Boiling down to the basics of Halloween

By PARKER KOONS Halloween is most children’s favorite time of the year besides their birthday and Christmas, but many of those children don’t know the origins of Halloween.

Senior Jessica Morse said, “I know the basics but not really the origins.”

The origin of Jack O’Lanterns date back to a tale from Irish folklore. The story goes that a man named Jack tricked the devil twice. First Jack made the devil turn into a coin to pay for drinks. Then, he put a cross in his pocket to prevent the devil from leaving. The second time he made the devil climb a tree, and continued hammered a cross to the trunk preventing him from descending. In return for letting the devil out of these two situations, Jack made the devil promise not to take his soul. When Jack died, the devil kept his deal, but God wouldn’t let Jack into heaven.

He ended up wandering the lands, and to light his way, he carved a face into a turnip and stuck a candle into it, creating the first Jack O’Lantern. When Irish immigrants came over from Ireland to America, they brought the tradition with them. It evolved from carving turnips to carving pumpkins.

Another common sight around Halloween is people dressed up as the headless horseman. Coincidentally, it also had its start in Ireland under the name Dullahan. Dullahans were supposedly harbingers of death. When one stopped riding their wagon, they would call out a name and that person would immediately drop dead.

Senior Sequoiah Rhoades stated, “What I know about Halloween is that it originates from Ireland and the Celtic people had a festival of Samhain.”

Masks used in the celebration of Halloween also originally had a purpose which was the warding off of demons.  A person would wear their mask the day before Samhain, which would prevent demons from finding them on the day of Samhain.

Some people know this legend like sophomore Kaylee Becker-George who said, “Halloween is the day before a holiday involving demons so people would wear masks to hide from the demons.”

Many Halloween traditions and staples come from Irish folklore and customs. Many of these traditions came across to America during immigration from Ireland.

 

[Photo by Parker Koons]

Photo Caption: “Junior Abby Walker holds a Halloween staple; the beloved pumpkin.”

 

Parker Koons

Parker is a senior and has been on the High Arrow staff for four years. His favorite part about journalism is interacting with people he might not normally talk to.

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