The Interesting History of Halloween Decorations

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The Interesting History of Halloween Decorations

Jul. 18, 2022

You may have noticed that Halloween decorations have increased significantly in recent years. A decade or so ago, decorations in our neighborhood were limited to pumpkin lights on the front porch and the occasional skeleton or creepy spider web. Now, it's not uncommon to see entire neighborhoods decked out in black, witches, artificial graveyards and even Halloween lights. How did we get here? Let's take a look back at the interesting history of Halloween decorations.


The Past

The roots of Halloween itself go back thousands of years to the Celtic festival of Savin, which was celebrated at the end of the harvest. During this time, the Celts believed that the spirits of the recently deceased might return to threaten the living. Celebrants would light bonfires and wear frightening costumes in an attempt to confuse the spirits and drive them away. When Christianity was introduced to England, many of the traditions of Savine were incorporated into the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day (or All Saints' Day) and its companion, All Hallows' Eve or All Saints' Day.
Today, Halloween is bigger than ever. In 2005, U.S. consumers planned to spend $3.3 billion on Halloween-related merchandise. Just 11 years later, that figure had almost tripled to $9.1 billion . Decorations have become more elaborate and widespread, with disposable decorations such as cardboard skeletons having been replaced by more permanent options such as plastic skeletons, orange lights, and even Halloween inflatables.


The Interesting History of Halloween Decorations



Not to mention the oldest of all Halloween decorations: pumpkin lanterns. No one fully agrees on why they are called jacks, but we do know that during the Savine Festival, the Celts would carve menacing faces into turnips and carry them around to ward off evil spirits. Carved lanterns were preserved as part of Halloween, and when Halloween came to America, celebrants realized there was a New World vegetable better suited to carving creepy faces: the pumpkin.
The well-known Halloween pumpkin, sold by the millions in grocery stores and pumpkin patches, is the Howden pumpkin, a variety of which did not develop until the 1960s . Farmer John Howden bred his eponymous pumpkin for its shallow ribs, relatively thin flesh and handle-like stem, all of which make it ideal for carving. This proves that many of the things we consider essential to Halloween simply haven't been around very long. Whether it's a better, more carveable pumpkin or a giant inflatable pumpkin lantern that doesn't need to be carved at all, Halloween decorations are always evolving, just like the holiday itself.


The Interesting History of Halloween Decorations


Decorating tips

Halloween just gives us more reasons to be extra AF, and yes, that includes filling our homes with spooky-themed home décor. Spooky home decor doesn't have to be scary; it can be just the little details around your home, like decorative spider webs, little black felt bats on the walls, or even those cute little pumpkins on the table. Halloween offers a chance to decorate to your heart's content!

1. Abandoned house

Turn your home into a creepy, empty house.
Decorate windows with artificial spiders and cobwebs
Put broken glass stickers on the windows
Dim porch lights with black or yellow bulbs
Temporarily skewing porch swings
Support wood chips on windows for a wood panel effect
Collect dead flower stems for a whimsical arrangement
Add flickering electric candles to the windows


2. Kid-friendly gnome houses

Engage your children in these craft projects.
Carve or paint pumpkins to decorate porch steps
Use sheets or plastic drop cloths to make white ghosts
Make pumpkin scarecrows out of old clothes, straw and
Replace porch light bulbs with black lights.
Hang homemade decorations made from white paper on the front porch
Add inflatable lawn decorations and battery powered flickering candles

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The Interesting History of Halloween Decorations


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