Twelve things you might not know about Halloween
Halloween is upon us, and though you might not be surprised by how much it has changed over the years (think trunk or treating), you might be surprised by some of these fun facts about the holiday.
1. In Medieval England people, called “soulers,” would go around begging rich people for “soul cakes” on Halloween. Rather than threatening to play tricks, though, they would offer to pray for peoples’ souls in return for the cakes.
2. The Irish brought the tradition of the Jack o’ lantern with them when they fled their country in the 1840’s due to the potato famine. It is based on the legend of a man named Jack, who played a trick on the devil:
One night, a conniving local drunkard named Jack found the devil in a tree and trapped him there by carving the sign of the cross in the trunk. In exchange for letting Satan down, Jack secured a promise from him that he would never claim Jack’s soul. Afterward, Jack led a less-than-saintly life. When he died, he wasn’t allowed into heaven, and Satan upheld his end of the bargain, hurling a piece of coal from hell at the dead man. With nowhere to go, Jack placed the blazing coal in a turnip to use as a lantern and set out, doomed to wander until he can find an eternal resting place.
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