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.Continue Reading
The night before Halloween is infamous for being a time when kids go out and perform pranks and acts of vandalism. Some common practices are throwing toilet paper in neighborhood trees, egging houses and smashing pumpkins.
The mischievous activity relates to the origins of Halloween, which was a Celtic tradition. It was believed spirits would roam the night before the Celtic New Year of November 1, playing tricks and vandalizing. This tradition carried to America from the Irish and Scottish immigrants. Halloween remained a holiday rooted in devious activity, until candy was introduced in the early 20th century to curb the amount of vandalism and dangerous activity that went on.
Many nations have their own versions of the Mischief Night. Germany has their own Mischief Night on May 1. In the United Kingdom, people perform mischief on November 4, the night before Guy Fawkes Night.Learn more about Halloween
The origins of Halloween lie in an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, which was a festival of the dead. The festival was traditionally held on the day of the official start of winter on the Celtic calendar, which corresponds to November 1 on the modern calendar.Full Answer >
Halloween, or All Hallows' Eve, comes from the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain and was invented because the Pagans felt that October 31 was the one day out of the year that the boundary between the living and the dead overlapped. They believed the dead would come back to earth and cause illness or damaged crops. At that time, people participating in the Samhain festival would wear costumes and masks in an attempt to mimic evil spirits.Full Answer >
The word "Halloween" is a corruption of "All Hallows' Eve," the day before All Saints' Day, and it was initially a Catholic high feast day as well as a minor Celtic feast day. Medieval Catholics believed this was the night spirits were free to roam the earth.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >