I have to say that Halloween has become my favorite day of the year. So, prepare yourselves to hear a lot about it up until then...and maybe afterwards, too. I do believe this comes from my ancestors. For the Celts, Samhain was the biggest and most significant holiday of the year and it was celebrated with the drinking of some very rough brews and the chucking away of food and other goodies to please the gods. This is because they believed that this was the time that the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living...and the souls of those who had died during the previous year would travel to the Otherworld. As a celebration of nature's never ending renewal of life, Samhain celebrated the impending darkness after the light and harvest of fall after which life would re-emerge again in spring.
Halloween is a contraction of the words "Hallowed Evening", and it retains much of the original from and meaning that it had during the Celtic times despite the Church's efforts to destroy it as a pagan holiday.
To the Celts, Samhain was a great time to foretell the future. The Druids believed that the apple contained the seeds of Life and Death due to the pentacle that appears when you take an apple and splace it on its side and instead of cutting it from stem to flower, cut it through the equator... and they used the 'sacred apple' for this for a glance into the future. Today we bob for apples.
The carved pumpkin or 'Jack O' Lantern' was adapted from the old British practice of carving out turnips or other vegetables to make lanterns. Pumpkin carving has now become as essential to Halloween as mistletoe is to Christmas.
If you hold a mirror on Halloween and walk backwards down the stairs to the basement, the face that appears in the mirror will be your next lover. Please be careful if you try this at home. LOL!!! A less dangerous way of getting a glimpse of your spouse was believed to be to peel an apple in front of a candle--a lit candle.
And here is yet another one. If you walk backward into a dark room while looking into a mirror and eating an apple at the same time, you will see your future mate's face in the mirror's reflection. What can I say? At least you are not walking down steps.
Special foods and meals were often made for the souls of the dead and for deceased ancestors. In England, "soul cakes" were made for these wandering souls, and each person went 'a' soulin' for these at Halloween.
If you pare an apple all in one piece on Samhain night and allow it to fall to the ground unaided, it will spell out the initials of your future mate.
Hang an apple from a string with a coin pushed deep inside and try to bite out the coin without using your hands. Succeed, and your pockets will be full throughout the coming year.