Halloween is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Children and adults alike dress in inventive costumes, from witches to cartoon characters, and journey forth to call out “trick or treat!”
First introduced to America in the 1840s, Halloween finds its roots in two ancient festivals: Samhain and All Saints’ Day.
Since the Iron Age, the Celtic celebration of Samhain indicated the end of the harvest season and impending winter, the dark half of the year. During Samhain, people believed that the dead walked among the living, bringing demons in their wake. As protection after dark, people donned ghoulish masks and other costumes imitating the dead in the hope of not being seen by the visiting spirits and their fellow devilish travelers.
All Saints’ Day and Trick-or-Treating
Pope Gregory lll declared November 1st as All Saints’ Day to celebrate saints and martyrs. The poor would beg for food and receive a soul cake. In return, they would pray for departed family members. The Irish would don costumes and go from house to house ‘mumming’ or singing songs to the dead, receiving cakes in payment. Those that didn’t give cakes could suffer a trick. These customs were the early precursor to what in America is now called ‘Trick or Treat.’
Spooky Décor and Color
There is a wide selection of Halloween decoration ideas, from the whimsical to the downright scary. In terms of color, we primarily associate orange and black with Halloween, which historically represented the bounty of harvest time and respect of the deceased.
What About Pumpkins?
Pumpkin carving originated in Ireland, where the hollowed-out illuminated orbs were used to ward off evil spirits. Jack-O-Lanterns’ origin derives from the Irish folktale about Stingy Jack, who made a pact with the devil then tried to trick him. Introduced to America, Jack-O-Lanterns are still considered an essential element in any Halloween decoration.
Considered a powerful symbol of Halloween, skeletons represent death. As a costume, the skeleton would have been a very effective deterrent to ward off the ghosts walking among our ancestors during Samhain and All Saints’ festivities!
Tips to Avoid a Residential Remodeling Horror Story!
Halloween can be scary. Remodeling your home shouldn’t be!
There’s a lot to think about before you begin, and there are steps you can take to ensure the experience is less frightening—none of which involve costumes, spells, or eating a lot of garlic.
- Choosing the right contractor is paramount! They should be insured for the work required, provide quality references, and show proof of their recent work.
- Understand the terms. When negotiating the terms of your remodel, read through and understand the elements of your proposal, contract details, and construction documents.
- Select and order materials ASAP. After you have worked out your design, make your materials selections early. Doing so ensures their availability when your contractor is ready for them. With so many supply chain delays at the moment, you’ll want to give yourself extra time.
- Set your budget. Devise a budget that will work with your goals and expectations, allowing flexibility in costs and time. Give your budget breathing room in the case of the unexpected.
- Communicate clearly with your contractors, and don’t be shy about asking questions. Remodeling your home is a big undertaking, so alleviate stress by understanding the process and what is going on around you.