The Origin of Halloween
Halloween, short for 'all hallows evening' commences the Christian observance of All Hallows Day (All Saints Day) on November 1st and All Souls Day on Novemeber 2nd with a feast and vigil the evening of October 31st. Allhallowstide made up of these 3 days, is a time to honour all saints and pray for the recently departed.
There is some debate to the exact origins of Halloween. Some say it was influenced by Celtic harvest festivals and in particular the Gaelic festival Samhain and was Christianized with time. However some believe it was solely a Christian holiday being the vigil of All Hallows Day. Allhallowstide was celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for centuries and adopted in North America when these settlers moved there in the early 19th century. The Americanized version of Halloween with trick or treating and dressing up has spread to the rest of the world since the late 20th century.
During Allhallowstide, traditionally Christians used to eat vegetarian dishes like apples, potatoes, pancakes and soul cakes which are similar to shortbread and marked with a cross.
The origins of trick or treating most likely dates back to the tradition of groups of people, often children going door to door collecting soul cakes in return for praying for the dead, in an act called 'souling'.
Turnips instead of pumpkins were originially used to make Jack-o-Lanterns in order to ward off evil spirits. Candles were often lit in the house to guide the dead back home and sometimes candles were often lit at their graves. In Irish Christian folktale a jack-o-latern is thought to be a spirit in the in between worlds who have not been allowed to enter heaven or hell.
The origins of dressing up in costumes is thought to have come from belief in vengeful ghosts which wander the earth until All Hallows Day and have one last chance on Hallows Eve to get revenge on the living. Therefore dressing up in costume may keep you unrecognized by these ghosts.
Whether you dress up as something dark like a zombie, witch, or scary clown or something nostalgic like your favourite Anime or sesame street character we hope we can find the right socks to put together your perfect outfit.
Be sure to check out our Sock of the Week, The Outdoor GT which comes in a variety of colours to help with any Halloween ensembles or to keep your feet warm while accompanying your kids trick or treating.