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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: What is the date of All Hallow's Eve?

    A: All Hallow's Eve is the original name for Halloween and occurs on October 31. It was originally observed as the night before the Roman Catholic holiday All Hallow's Day, which honors the saints. Over time, All Hallow's Eve developed into the secular Halloween.
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  • Q: What are some fun ideas for carving pumpkins?

    A: Traditionally carved pumpkins have a triangle nose and eyes with teeth showing in the mouth. Additional fun ideas include silhouettes such as a black cat or a pumpkin topiary using several stacked pumpkins in different sizes. Free templates can be found at pinterest.com for more detailed carvings.
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  • Why do we have Halloween?

    Q: Why do we have Halloween?

    A: The traditions of modern Halloween -- costumes, ghosts, trick-or-treat -- come from a number of ancient civilizations. According to the History website, most experts believe that this spooky holiday stems from the Celtic festival of Samhain.
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  • Q: What are some common Halloween party snacks?

    A: Many good Halloween snacks are simple, everyday snacks that are shaped to look like common Halloween themes like ghosts, pumpkins, spiders and cats. For example, sugar cookies shaped like cats and decorated with black icing make for an excellent party snack. Pumpkin cookies shaped like pumpkins give both the taste and look of Halloween. Meringue cookies lend themselves well to a ghost theme due to their bright white color and fluffy texture.
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  • Q: What are some easy Halloween treats?

    A: To make some easy Halloween treats, combine white wine, grape juice, lime juice and raspberry sorbet for a vampire float, or roll balls of goat cheese in fresh herbs and lay them on a bed of pesto for a slimy appetizer. Another easy appetizer calls for using Halloween cookie cutters on puff pastry and then baking it to make crispy crackers. Alternate poppy seeds with paprika for savory black and orange toppings.
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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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  • Where can you find Halloween skeleton pictures for free?

    Q: Where can you find Halloween skeleton pictures for free?

    A: Free Halloween skeleton pictures are available on Photobucket.com and Webweaver.nu's Free Clipart. A large printable picture of a Halloween skeleton is available for free at GamesCraftsColoring.com. Free printable pictures of Halloween skeletons, designed for kids to color, are available at BestColoringPagesforKids.com and HelloKids.com.
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  • Q: What are some good Halloween costume ideas for teenage girls?

    A: Teenage girls can look to classic teen movies, their own icons and current pop culture figures when choosing Halloween costumes. Movie costumes are especially fitting for groups of teen girls. A pair of friends can dress as Cher and Dionne from "Clueless," while a foursome can dress as the stars of "Mean Girls" or the girls of "Heathers." A single teenager can dress as Baby from "Dirty Dancing" or as Molly Ringwald's character from "Pretty in Pink."
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  • Q: What are some nerdy Halloween costumes ideas for girls?

    A: Some nerdy Halloween costume ideas females include dressing up like Internet memes, Star Wars characters, Doctor Who characters, Harry Potter characters, female versions of Marvel's Avengers heroes, and Star Trek characters. Costumes can be store bought or home-made.
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  • Q: What are some cool pumpkin decorating ideas?

    A: To make a sparkling spiderweb design, use acrylic paint to color a pumpkin black or white. Starting at the stem, draw a spiderweb design on the pumpkin to create guidelines. When the pumpkin dries, use a glue gun to attach rhinestones along the pattern lines. Boost the spookiness of the design by spray painting a large plastic spider and gluing it to the pumpkin. Choose a paint color that stands out at night, such as silver.
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