Pomona, Goddess of fruits and seeds.
It is while she was honoured during a festival in the Roman times that first traces of the “origin” of Halloween emerged but various and other connections have also been found linking the “day” to other Celtics celebrations and seems to be the roots of its history.
The Celts believed that on the day of Samhain (Halloween) during which they celebrated the end of the summer days and harvest , therefore the beginning of the long and harsh winter , that on the night of the 31st of October , the border for the passage to the “Other Side” was thinner , allowing all spirits good and bad to “travel”, so everyone would disguise himself in order to be mistaken by the spirits and left unharmed.
The name Halloween was first attested in the 16th Century and has been shortened from the Scottish word All-Hallows-Even (Mass Day of All Saints Day) ever since.
Diverse vegetables were carved and lit with a candle (Lantern) and placed on the front porch of houses and windows to ward off the Evil Spirits and has become nowadays a tradition that seems amusing but was very much taken seriously at the times of origin.
The tradition of pumkin carving in the United States was associated to the great famine during the Irish immigration until becoming around mid 19th Century part of the great tradition and symbol of nowadays Halloween. The “Squash” , beside being in full season is then also used in a number of various recipes such as Pumkin Pie , Soups , Mash…etc
Trick or treat practice (now belonging to children for a good night of fun out) began in the medieval times when the poor would come knocking on doors , offering prayers for the dead in exchange for food which in American history would have caused outrage at some time around 1948 as some of the members of the called Madison Square Boys in New York protested during the Parade with the slogan “American Boys don’t beg”.
Scottish tradition once wanted the young and unmarried lady to peel a fruit (Apple in this instance) in one strip and to throw it over the shoulder. The saying goes by : the strips , on its landing, would take the shape of a letter being the first letter of the man this young lady would get to marry. It was also said that a single young lady staring into the mirror on Halloween’s night would see the face of her future spouse appearing next to hers , but that a skull would show if she was to be destined to die before she wed. Gulp!
2 Players on Halloween night traditional game would get their faces very sticky indeed as a scone attached to a string and dangling down, would be dipped into (Treacle in Uk) or (Mapple syrup in Us and Canada) and the players would attempt to catch it with their teeth and eat the treat and therefore be declared the winner.
Because of the season (harvest) Candy or Toffee Apples are also to be associated with the evening and used as treat for the childrens on the occasion , so is a fruit cakes holding a golden coin ,Celtic tradition oblige.
Apples floating on water would be another amusement related or usually seen on Halloween’s night games ,with the objective, for the player, single this time , once more , to catch the fruit with his teeth and by often dunking his/her head into the water.
If anyone comes knocking on your door, be kind or be tricked …