Many Halloween traditions have their roots in Catholicism, but not all of them. Can you guess which ones?
Speaker 1: Are they going to be nice to me?
Leesa: Are you giving us the answers?
Speaker 1: Nope.
Leesa: Then, no.
Catholic 101 Halloween Traditions
How to Play: Correctly guess which Halloween traditions originated in Catholicism.
Did this Halloween tradition originate in Catholicism? Wearing of costumes on Halloween
Sara: All right. So, wearing of costumes on Halloween.
Sara: I don’t think that’s Catholic.
Sean: I feel like, yeah.
Sean: But then there was a lot of kids in my grade school class that were religious, and their parents wouldn’t let them practice Halloween. So, I’m actually going to say, no, on this one.
Sarah: No. Because I think it originated in paganism.
Brandon: No. I don’t think so.
Joe: Probably is, but no.
1. Wearing costumes on Halloween: Non-Catholic
About 2,000 years ago in Celtic Ireland, people celebrated a harvest festival at the end of October, which included wearing costumes to disguise themselves from harmful spirits.
Did this Halloween tradition originate in Catholicism? Going from door to door begging for cakes
Leesa: Number two, going from door to door begging for cakes. They were probably handing out Bibles at first, then somebody changed it to cakes.
Sara: Well, charity.
Sara: Charity cakes.
Dakai: Actually, this could be yes.
Sean: Yeah, why?
Dakai: I don’t know. I just have a gut feeling.
Brandon: I think…
Brandon: I thought it was some English thing.
Joe: Probably. Actually, that sounds crazy enough.
Sean: We’ll go yeah, with Dakai.
Sean: Two for two, let’s go.
Dakai: Oh see? Gut’s always right.
2: Going door-to-door begging for treats: Catholic
In Medieval Europe, beggars and children came around to houses on the eve of All Souls’ Day and offered to say prayers for the family’s departed in exchange for “soul cakes.”
Did this Halloween tradition originate in Catholicism? The belief that the souls of the dead roam the earth with the living
Sarah: The belief that the souls of the dead roam the earth with the living. Yes, right?
Dain: Yeah, I think so.
Sarah: I think so, right? Because Catholicism believes in ghosts.
Sean: Well, in church we always talk about the souls and like, I don’t know. Demons and things like that. I hear that all the time.
Sara: That doesn’t sound right.
Sara: It’s a no for me.
3. The belief that the souls of the dead roam the earth with the living: Non-Catholic
The ancient Irish marked their new year on November 1st and saw it as a time when the boundary to the spirit world became thin. They believed the souls of the dead returned home to join feasts.
Did this Halloween tradition originate in Catholicism? Leaving offerings and flowers to dead loved ones on an altar
Savannah: Leaving offerings and flowers to dead loved ones on an altar. That sounds like Day of the Dead.
Sara: Yeah, it does.
Joe: Like “Coco?”
Brandon: Yeah, right. So, is that…But that’s Mexican.
Sean: In Mexico, they do that all the time. Like, Dia de los Muertos.
Dakai: Dia de los Muertos.
Sean: And there’s a lot of Catholics there, so we’ll go, yeah.
Brandon: Well, I mean, each-
Joe: They’re Catholic.
Brandon: But it could’ve been like a syncretism thing where it’s like a cultural, local cultural thing.
4. Leaving offerings and flowers to dead loved ones on an altar: Non-Catholic.
The Aztecs celebrated rituals to honor their deceased, and these traditions mixed with Catholicism into Day of the Dead activities when Mexico was colonized.
Did this Halloween tradition originate in Catholicism? Carving cute faces into pumpkins
Savannah: Okay. Carving cute faces into pumpkins.
Trae: That ain’t a cute face right there.
Leesa: That’s not cute. That’s what you look like. I’m sorry.
Joe: If it’s true, I’ll be mad. Is it? No.
Brandon: Final answer, no.
Joe: Final answer, no.
Joe: Okay good.
5. Carving cute faces into pumpkins: Non-Catholic
Ancient cultures in Ireland carved grotesque faces into turnips during their harvest festival and placed an ember in them to ward off evil spirits.