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In honor of Halloween, I’ve got some interesting facts about its history to share with you. Hopefully it brings you some Halloween spirit since its just right around the corner.

  1. Anoka, MN had the first citywide celebration of Halloween in America
    1. A town parade was first organized in 1920. Anoka is now considered the Halloween capital of the world.
  2. Jack-o’-lanterns were first carved from turnips
    1. In Irish myth, the first jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips or potatos. They were used to ward off Stingy Jack. Jack according to stories tricked the Devil into not taking him to Hell when he died, but was also barred from heaven due to his schemes. Jack had nowhere to go and lit his way with a hollowed out turnip with a burning ember inside.
  3. Irish and Scottish immigrants are the reason we have recognizable Halloween celebration in America
    1. Puritan and Protestant people spurned the idea of Halloween and it was considered strange and foreign. When the Scottish and Irish immigrated, they brought along their cultural norms such as celebrating Halloween.
  4. Halloween was at one time overseen by a “Lord of Misrule”
    1. In Scotland, a Lord of Misrule was appointed on All Hallows eve for the Christmas season. He was essentially a jester that oversaw celebrations and was simply silly.
  5. Halloween once centered around blowing stuff up
    1. Before the modern Halloween we know today, kids focused on the mischief aspect of the holiday. Before the 1930s, actions ranged from ringing doorbells to breaking windows and setting fires. It was also common to overturn tubs of water. There is also one notable account in Sheffield, AL that the town kids decided to set off a cannon in the middles of the nigh. The kids ended up breaking several windows from a nearby building. The cannon was also knocked several feet off its foundation.

 

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