Halloween

A:

Most experts believe that the tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween originated in ancient days with the Celtic festival of Samhain, where participants lit fires and wore costumes to scare away ghosts.

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  • How early can you carve a pumpkin?

    Q: How early can you carve a pumpkin?

    A: According to DowningPumpkins.com, pumpkins should only be carved within a day of use. However, bleach and vegetable oil can extend the life of a carved pumpkin.
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  • How far in advance can you carve a pumpkin?

    Q: How far in advance can you carve a pumpkin?

    A: A pumpkin remains fresh and holds its color and shape well for only one or two days, and it stays in satisfactory condition for up to one week. Certain steps help prolong the life of a carved pumpkin.
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  • Why do people dress up for Halloween?

    Q: Why do people dress up for Halloween?

    A: The tradition of dressing up for Halloween most likely comes from the Medieval practices of "mumming" and "going a-souling," which historically took place on All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Mumming meant dressing up in costumes, singing, dancing, play-acting and making other general mischief. Souling meant going door to door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for treats. Current Halloween customs are an amalgamation of traditions from Celtic, various pagan and Roman traditions.
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  • Who started Halloween?

    Q: Who started Halloween?

    A: The Celtic people started Samhain, the festival that eventually became known as Halloween, in the early days of the first millennium A.D. The festival celebrated the dead, whom the Celtics believed could join the living on that day.
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  • When did Halloween become a national holiday?

    Q: When did Halloween become a national holiday?

    A: Halloween is not recognized as a federal or national holiday in the United States. However, the federal government does acknowledge it as a recognized American holiday.
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  • Why do people wear costumes on Halloween?

    Q: Why do people wear costumes on Halloween?

    A: Most experts believe that the tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween originated in ancient days with the Celtic festival of Samhain, where participants lit fires and wore costumes to scare away ghosts.
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  • How do you apply makeup to look like a vampire?

    Q: How do you apply makeup to look like a vampire?

    A: To look like a vampire, it is necessary to apply white makeup to the entire face, red and black makeup around the lips and mouth, black and red makeup around the eyes and gray makeup around the cheekbones. A vampire makeup kit that contains all of the required colors and makeup applicators to create an authentic vampire look can be purchased for $5 to $10.
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  • How long do uncarved pumpkins last?

    Q: How long do uncarved pumpkins last?

    A: An uncarved pumpkin stays fresh for two to three months when stored at outdoor temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At room temperature, a pumpkin starts to go bad after about a month.
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  • Why do we get candy on Halloween?

    Q: Why do we get candy on Halloween?

    A: Candy is traditionally given out on Halloween to children who dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for candy in a custom known as trick-or-treating. It is increasingly common for children to trick-or-treat in retail stores, or to receive candy at church or community carnivals.
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  • Which vegetable was originally used to carve jack-o-lanterns?

    Q: Which vegetable was originally used to carve jack-o-lanterns?

    A: The seasonal practice of carving a vegetable and putting a light inside originates in Ireland as part of Celtic tradition; because pumpkins do not occur naturally in this part of the world, the turnip was the vegetable that was originally used to carve jack-o-lanterns. Other root vegetables, including rutabagas, potatoes and beets, may also have been used to create these veggie lanterns, which used candles, burning coal or embers to create light and were intended as talismans to ward off evil spirits. Irish immigrants likely brought the practice to the United States, and exposure to the large, internally hollow and easily carved pumpkin started a new tradition of carving pumpkins instead of root vegetables.
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  • Q: Where can stencils for pumpkins be found?

    A: Free printable stencils for pumpkins can be found on the Better Homes and Gardens website, BHG.com. The site features Halloween-themed stencils, and many others including pumpkin-carving stencils of popular dog breeds.
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  • Q: What are some adjectives used to describe Halloween?

    A: Some adjectives suitable for describing Halloween are "alarming," "bizarre," "blood-curdling," "chilling," "creepy," "eerie," "frightening," "ghoulish," "gruesome" and "hair-raising." An adjective is any word that modifies a person or thing. Although words associated with fear are appropriate for describing Halloween, words that depict a person's individual feelings for the occasion are also appropriate.
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  • Q: How do you find out the local trick-or-treat schedule?

    A: Many municipalities announce their yearly trick-or-treat schedules on online newspapers or on their official websites. Some independent tourist sites for a number of cities and states also post the schedule online.
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  • Q: Why do people celebrate Halloween?

    A: Halloween is celebrated by Western Christians as part of the observance of All Saints Day, which is celebrated annually on November 1. However, Halloween is actually a Christianized pagan festival from Northern Europe that was brought into the United States by Scottish and Irish immigrants.
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  • What are some of the best pumpkin-carving ideas?

    Q: What are some of the best pumpkin-carving ideas?

    A: Some great pumpkin-carving ideas include message, star, haunted castle, spooky ghost and spider web designs. Many of these designs are specifically created to do for Halloween celebrations, when most of the pumpkin carving takes place.
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  • What is the night before Halloween called?

    Q: What is the night before Halloween called?

    A: The night before Halloween is commonly called Mischief Night, particularly in the state of New Jersey. In some areas of New York State, the night is referred to as Goosey Night or Hell Night, while other areas in the New England area use the name Cabbage Night or Gate Night. In the Detroit region, people call it Devil's Night, while in the North and South Dakota states, the night is called Mat Night.
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  • What are some good pumpkin decorating ideas?

    Q: What are some good pumpkin decorating ideas?

    A: One good pumpkin decorating idea is to spray paint the pumpkin with chalkboard paint and draw festive illustrations in white chalk markers. Another idea is to spray paint the pumpkin in a pale green-blue and strategically adhere black lace for a veiled look.
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  • Q: What are some seductive Halloween costume ideas?

    A: Examples of seductive Halloween costumes for women include a sexy pirate, bad wolf, sailor and the Queen of Hearts from "Alice in Wonderland." Additional ideas are a Princess Leia slave costume, a sexy Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" and a "Baywatch" inspired costume.
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  • Q: Where can you find Candyland costumes?

    A: Websites that sell Candyland costumes include HalloweenExpress.com, WholesaleHalloweenCostumes.com and CostumeCraze.com. Halloween Express offers two adult and one child Candyland costumes, as well as a variety of other game-themed costumes. It also offers Christmas costumes, TV and movie costumes, and superhero costumes. It offers hats, wigs, masks, shoes and hosiery.
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  • Why are pumpkins associated with Halloween?

    Q: Why are pumpkins associated with Halloween?

    A: The practice of carving pumpkins and lighting them from within with candles for Halloween originated in Ireland with a folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Based on the story of the "Jack-o'-lantern," American children began carving their own lanterns out of New World pumpkins. The lanterns became associated with Halloween when the mayor of Atlanta decorated his home with them for a Halloween party.
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  • Q: How do you decorate pumpkins with dinosaurs?

    A: To decorate a pumpkin with dinosaurs, find an image of a dinosaur. Print it out on a sheet of standard paper. Cut the shape out to create a stencil, and use the stencil as a guide to paint the dinosaur onto the pumpkin.
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