What comes to mind when you think about Halloween? Trick-or-treating, costumes and creepy embellishments, right? But have you ever wondered where this holiday comes from? Many people believe that Halloween comes from the United States, but the truth is that its roots can be traced back to Scotland. Yes, you read it right: Scotland!
How did Halloween end up in Scotland?
Let's make a little trip back in time to old Scotland. The Celts, the first inhabitants of Scotland, celebrated a feast called Samhain (pronounced sah-win). This festival marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It was believed that on the night of Samhain the border between the living and the dead faded and spirits roamed the earth.
During Samhain, the Celts lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off these wandering spirits. They also believed that the presence of these spirits made it easier for the Druids (Celtic priests) to make predictions about the future. Speaking of a creepy party!
Fast forward to the 19th century, when Scottish immigrants brought their Halloween traditions to the United States. It was during this time that the practice of "disguise" became popular. Instead of saying "trick-or-treat," children dressed up in costumes and went door-to-door, performing tricks or singing songs in exchange for treats. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Over time, Halloween became more similar in Scotland and the United States, with both countries indulgent in the traditions of costumes, parties and, of course, indulged in delicious treats. So, next time you enjoy a creepy Halloween night, remember that you have the Scots to thank for this terrifyingly fun holiday!
But what about the jack-o'-lanterns?
Ah, the iconic jack-o'-lanterns! These carved pumpkins are a staple of Halloween decorations. But did you know that they are also of Scottish descent? In Scotland, people carved turnips and potatoes and placed a candle in them to ward off evil spirits. When Scottish immigrants arrived in America, they found that pumpkins were much easier to cut and they became the favorite choice for jack-o'-lanterns. So the next time you cut out a pumpkin, remember that you are continuing an age-old Scottish tradition!
So there you have it: Halloween may have started in Scotland , But it has certainly found its way around the world. Whether you're dressing up in a creepy costume, carving pumpkins or feasting on sweet treats, you can thank the Scots for this eerily delicious holiday.