October 8th, 2011

Time to play Halloween trivia!

It's that time of year again when the air is full of misconceptions about my favorite holiday! Below are ten statements about the history of Halloween...but only one is true. And yes, several of these are trick questions which are partly true, but only one is completely true.

I'll post answers and explanations in a day. Have at it!

1. Robert Burns's 1785 poem "Hallowe'en" includes a vivid description of bobbing for apples.
2. Medieval witches sacrificed infants on Halloween and made a supposedly magic oil from their flesh.
3. Halloween derives in part from a Roman festival held each October in honor of Pomona, goddess of nuts and fruits.
4. The ancient Celts were party animals who celebrated the holiday with a massive kegger.
5. Trick or treat derives from a Celtic practice of donning costumes on Samhain to scare off evil spirits.
6. The first feature film to make significant use of Halloween was 1936's PENNIES FROM HEAVEN.
7. On October 31st, the Celts offered sacrifices to Samhain, the Lord of Death.
8. The practice of carving scary faces into pumpkins originated in Ireland in the 18th century, principally as a way for boys to scare girls into their arms.
9. When the Romans conquered the Irish Celts, they outlawed the Celtic holiday of Samhain.
10. At 19th century American Halloween parties, children played a game called "Snapdragon" in which they tried to snatch pieces of candy from a bubbling cauldron.