Halloween is the time of celebration and superstition. The time when we believe the dead rise again and Jack-O-Lanterns are carved to ward off evil spirits. But the story behind Halloween still remains a mystery to many of us.
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History Behind Halloween
Halloween or Allhalloween or All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is observed every year on October 31 – on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day, also known as All Saints’ Day.
It is believed Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain of Britain, meaning ‘Summer’s End’ and was celebrated the end of harvest season.
It was at this time, people believed, that the boundaries between world of the living and the dead become blurred, allowing spirits to pass through and come back to life and damage their crops. Places were hence set at the dinner table to appease and welcome the spirits.
With time, the festival become best known for children donning costumes and masks to scare others and collect treats. Whatever may be the reason behind the festival, it is now synonymous with scary, silly pranks, pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating.
Legend of Pumpkin Craving
Pumpkin carving is uniquely associated with Halloween. So much that it is impossible to think bout Halloween without envisioning a carved pumpkin. A must in the Halloween décor, the tradition of carving a pumpkin has a spooky story behind it.
According to belief, a drunk farmer named ‘Stingy Jack’ was refused entry in both heaven and hell after his demise. Lost in darkness, he carved a lantern out of a turnip to guide his soul.
The Celtics who originated the festival of Halloween, thus, placed these carved lanterns outside their houses to guide lost soul wandering during this time. That’s how the tradition of making ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ can into being.
Halloween Fun Facts
Halloween is celebrated in many countries around the world, each one having its own Halloween traditions. Some of weird ones are:
- Manila, capital of the Philippines, hosts a pet costume festival with the aims to raise funds for animal welfare groups.
- Japanese city of Kawasaki holds an annual Halloween costume parade. More than 100,000 watch it and 2,500 people take part.
- Irish people bake a fruitcake called ‘Barnbrack’ and hide treats inside it. If a ring is found, it means that the person will soon be wed; a piece of straw means a prosperous year is on its way; a pea means the person will not marry that year; a stick means an unhappy marriage or dispute; a coin represents good fortune.
- In Germany, people hide their knives to assure that no returning spirit is harmed or can harm them.
- Austrians leave food items like bread and water along with a lit lamp on the table before going to bed.
- In Czech Republic, chairs for deceased family members are placed by the fire on Halloween night alongside the chairs of living ones.
- The tradition of trick or treating is inspired by the custom of Souling. According to this tradition, poor people went from house to house asking for soul cakes in return of blessings for the family of the giver.
- Initial Jack O’ Lanterns were carved out of potatoes. But that changed after potato famine and Pumpkins were used instead.
Also check out 150+ Fun Facts for Kids for amazing, weird but true facts!
DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids
The most fun part about Halloween is the dress up. Children just adore dressing up as witches, wizards and in all sorts of silly costumes. But you don’t need to spend a fortune in buying these wonderful costumes.
Here are some DIY costume ideas that will make your kids super happy and excited:
1. How does a snail sound for a Halloween costume? Only this one is super cute and certainly non-slimy.
2. Like to paint? What a better idea than to be a Paintbrush then! This easy tutorial will transform your little one into walking talking paintbrush with her/his own palette in under 30 minutes. Now that’s real quick
Looking for Halloween Activities for Kids? Here is the list of exciting Best Halloween Activities You Can Do at Home!
3. Spooky Ghost is the fave costume of all. What else, its super easy, quick and NO Stitching required. You possibly can’t ask for more!!
Quick Tip: A plain white sheet would work just as fine.
4. Fancy dressing your daughter as a Witch? No worries! Just dress her up in black and don this adorable witch hat. Wolah! She is ready to go.
5. If you are looking for something unique and have the time and energy, than this Garden Gnome is for you. It’s adorable, unisex and can be fixed under an hour.
6. For all Harry Potter Fans (count me in!), this is one of the easiest costume for the famous wizard. Just a quick tip here: If you don’t have a striped tie, don’t fret. Just print a tie-template on a craft paper and color it to represent Gryffindor house.
7. No Halloween party is complete without a Bat. Dress your little one as a Bat and let her/him fly around trick-o-treating. No Sew Wings with an all black attire make for a cute little bat.
8. This one is for the Bubble bath Baby who refuses to leave his/her tub. Super cute, cheap and fixes in less than 20 minutes.
9. Here is the popular one – The Dinosaur.
10. This last one is my personal favorite. I have been obsessed with Mummies since I was 4thgrader (Back in those days, we were a little late learning about the world) It’s simple, easy and quick!
Halloween Movies to Watch with Family
Revisit the cute ghost from your childhood with your kids this time. Casper is one must watch Halloween movie for kids. It will surely leave your children warm and fuzzy.
Do Ghosts intrigue you? Find out all about Ghosts and if they really exist here
2. Dear Dracula
A funny movie about a boy who wants a Dracula figurine as Christmas present from Santa Claus. But instead of writing to Santa for his present, he writes a letter to…Dracula!!
3. Room on the Broom
You can never go wrong with Julia Donaldson. This is an animation on her witty story ‘Room on the Broom’ and is just lovel! Suitable for all ages.
Check out Halloween Jokes for Kids to add giggles to trick or treating!
4. Hocus Pocus
A Disney classic, this is a must watch halloween movie. Watch it find out what happens when a boy accidentally frees three witches on Halloween night.
5. Monsters, Inc.
How can you leave monsters behind you are talking about Halloween? Discover the friendly, warm side of monsters with this awesome halloween flick.
6. Hotel Transylvania
This is our favourite halloween movie! You and your kids will fall in love with this movie, which has all the spooky elements to it.
7. The Haunted Mansion
This movie will have your entire family in knots. A laughter riot, The haunted house is about a family who is struck in a haunted mansion and how they help ghosts break an old curse.
The latest in the Halloween genre, this is a sweet movie about a boy who aspires to be a musician and how he tumbles into the world of dead.
9. Harry Potter and Scoccer’s Stone
Not technically a Halloween movie but it’s all about wizards and witches, which is why we think it should be on the list.
10. Scared Shrekless
For all of you who loved watching Shrek, this one Halloween Bonanza. Watch it to find out when mighty Shrek is struck in Lord Farquaad’s haunted palace.
Halloween Songs and Poems
Movies might be good for the family, but when kids are left to themselves, nothing entertains them like rhymes and songs. Here are some funny Halloween rhymes:
And here’s some more spooky, scary songs:
Halloween Books for Kids
Nothing beats the thrill of reading a spooky, bone-chilling story on halloween. Tuck in along with your kids and enjoy a spooky fun read this halloween.
This book from our beloved author, Sandra Boynton, is certain to delight young readers. Perfect for toddlers, this book is about the Pookie’s Halloween costume dilemma.
This is the perfect Halloween book for your baby shark obsessed toddler. Sing, dance and read on with baby shark and his friends. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo!
If Baby Shark isn’t your child’s type, we bet he loves Peppa Pig! You simply cannot go wrong with this wonderful Halloween book for kids.
We adore Clifford series and this one is equally wonderful. Read and find out what Clifford does for his most loved holiday.
Also check out Diwali Books for Kids to learn about the Indian Festival of Lights.
This is a heart-warming tale from Berenstain Bears. This holiday they discover how appearances could be deceiving.
6. Big Pumpkin
The witch spots the biggest pumpkin in her vegetable patch. But it is so BIG that she doesn’t know how to get it off the vine. Everyone tries, from vampire to mummy, but with no luck till a tiny bat arrives on the scene. A perfect story of the brain over brawn.
Your kids will love this rhyming tale of counting days to Halloween. Just perfect for eager kids who cannot wait to get into their costumes and go trick-or-treating.
A truly wonderful Halloween book for kids, this one is for kids across all ages. The witty tale will make your children laugh and fall in love with Skelly.
Who says only ghosts can have all the fun on Halloween? With tongue-in-cheek instructional style, this book will set your children on a giggle spree!
Find out what it takes two children to scare a Ghost! Hilariously spooky!!
You thought you are the only one having all the Halloween fun? Well! Read this book to find out what snowmen do for Halloween. Not so lame snow sculptures snowmen are!
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween. But his barn animals are not about to give up so easily! Unfold the adventure as the animals go trick-or-treating farmer Brown.
This is my personal favourite. It is a story of a girl and her haunted house! Luckily, she is no ordinary girl but a craft witch who knows exactly what to do with the ghosts.
This is a visual treat for eyes! A lovely story about loneliness, friendship and bravery, this story will appeal to every child and warm-up their hearts.
This fast-paced, participatory story is about vanishing pumpkin and the customary pumpkin-pie. One of best Halloween stories for kids.
How about some spooky, nerve-tingling Halloween riddles? This one is a BIG hit for Halloween night. Looking for more children centric riddles? Here you go!
Can a spider save Halloween from turning into a disaster? A clever tale about a clever spider and his Halloween adventures, this one is set to charm young readers.
How cool is it to be different? Or is it rather disheartening? This is a story about a little ghost, who learns it is OK to be different.
Think only you can dress-up on Halloween! This time it is the veggies that have decided to adorn scary Halloween costumes. Just right for young children.
This one will have your children in a laughter riot! Like the name suggests, it’s all about creepy-spooky underwear.
Another beautiful, heartwarming tale of friendship! Far from the usual spooky Halloween stories, this one is all about love for friends.
We know how kids are in the waiting game! Turn the tables around by teaching them how to tell time with this rhyming, funny story. No more ‘what’s the time?’!
Farmer MacDonald’s prized pumpkin is missing just in time for the Halloween parade! Who is behind it? Read to find out!
This funny, rhyming story is a big hit with children. They will love the goblins, monsters and the ghosts when they come face to face with human trick-or-treaters.
Join Little Blue Truck as it goes around picking its animal pals. Beautiful costumes and lovely rhymes with the trademark Little Blue Truck series.
The Ghostbusters are back and just like the movie they will entertain and delight you! Perfect for kids 4years and above, this is a must have Halloween book for kids.
This is another sweet book from the Llama Llama series and is as charming as the rest of them. Perfect for little kids!
This is yet another gem from Dr. Suess. A captivating story about fear and tolerance, this is not a classical Halloween story. But nonetheless, wonderful!
This is a twisted tale of the classical ‘Goodnight Moon’. And just like the original, it is a lovely tale packed with just the right humour for little kids.
29. The Hallo-Wiener
This is a gem from Dev Pilkey, the author of Captain Underpants and Dogman. Oscar is a little dog who is always teased by his other big friends. But his brave act on Halloween transformed him from a loser to a big hero!
This is a cute, funny tale about a little witch who is forced to stay at home on Halloween!
Another great way to make halloween rememberable and complete family fun is through games! Playing games together strengthens family bonds and give children timeless memories – something they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
1. Witch Hat Ring Toss
Give a spooky twist to the classic old game of ring toss. Instead of tossing rings over the goodies, toss them over witch hats. The one, who gets the maximum rings through, wins!
2. Pin the Boo on the Ghost
Spin off from classic game ‘Pin the donkey’s tail’. Super fun! Blindfold your children and let them pin ‘boo’ on the oh-so-cute Casper inspired ghost.
Get your kids to learn to balance while walking on the spider’s web. For older kids, ask them to hop on one leg!
Now who does not love bowling, especially when you have to bowl down the monsters.
Awesome game for the entire family! All you need is balloons and funnels and you are ready to go.
6. Mummy Wrap
No Halloween party is complete without this game. With younger kids you may omit the competing part.
This scrumptious game is sure to get your little ones wanting for more. Don’t forget to get some extra donuts, just in case!
8. Ghost Race
Add twist to sack race by decorating the sack as a ghost and let the fun begin. This is a great game to burn off the extra energy from Halloween treats.
This is an excellent gross motor Halloween game for kids of all ages. The goal is to stick the newspaper balls on the spider’s web. Sounds fun right!
10. Pumpkin Patch Stomp
Your kids will absolutely love this Halloween game – Pumpkin Patch Stomp. Like the name suggests, kids race to stomp the maximum pumpkins (orange balloons in this case!).
With all the above resources, you are all set for a fantabulous Halloween. Be spooky and have fun!
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