Halloween is just around the corners. Even though Halloween is not a public holiday here in Singapore, many of us still celebrate this fun and to a certain extent peculiar festival. Some of us will dress up in costumes while others get ourselves frightened in a haunted house (think USS Halloween nite)
This year, before we get ourselves immersed in all the fun activities, allow us to challenge you to 10 trivial questions about Halloween. How many do you think you knowr? All 10 of them? Let's see....
Do you know the correct way of spelling Halloween with an apostrophe?
Hallowe'en (derived from All Hallow's Eve)
What does the word "hallow" mean?
Hallow is one of those words that have the same spelling when used as adjectives or nouns. It means the holy/saint. Thus Halloween is also known as the All Saints' Eve.
What item is only banned during Halloween in Hollywood California?
Silly String. Created as a prank product that became so popular that thousands of people will buy it on the streets and vandalize the streets.
Which are the two countries that have the strongest tradition of dressing up in costumes (Guising) and practicing Trick or treat (souling)?
Scotland and Ireland are widely thought to be the countries that embraced the tradition since the 16th century from their Celtics background. In fact, the Celts have a similar belief as the Asian tradition of "hungry ghost festival" where spirits can cross the human-dead boundary.
Why are Cats, spiders, and bats commonly used as Halloween symbols?
All three are associated with witches in the middle ages and are generally considered as bad luck.
How many children have been injured or killed from poisoned candy given to them by strangers?
There is no "true" poison case. 2 widely circulated news on poisoning was a result of 'accident' where the kids are not meant to receive them nor were they given by strangers.
Why do we carve faces into the pumpkin and light a candle during Halloween?
They were made to mimic "Jack-o'-lanterns". Jack o'lantern is our way to recreate the light we sometimes see when gases from decomposing plant light up when they oxidize most commonly seen in bogs and marshes. The fun story takes us back to 1500s about a person known as Jack. Jack is still looking for his resting place after making deal with the devil and got rejected by God in heaven cos of the deal. In another word, the light is his wandering spirit. These days, the lighted pumpkin with face served as a tool to frighten people and also drive evil spirits.
What is the estimated the commercial value of Halloween for the USA?
Halloween is the 2nd most commercial American holiday after Christmas. Its a whopping US $9 Billion industry. With the biggest bulk goes to candy makers.
What is the original name for Dracula?
Count Wampyr. The name was changed after Bram Stoker read a book, "An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia" on Romanian History.
Do you know what does the broomstick used by a Witch represent?
The broomstick is associated with fertility during the Renaissance era.
The last full moon on Halloween was in 2001. The next full moon for Halloween will fall on the year 2020. Get ready your Werewolf costumes!
So how many did you got right? All? Well done. What's your plan this Halloween then? For me, I'll probably be telling some DIY bedtime ghost stories to my kids using the Laurence King's Ghost Story Box.