The “spookiest” day of the year is slowly here, and this is definitely the time for trick-or-treats, costume parties and following numerous cute and funny traditions with family and friends. Halloween is about spending pleasant and fun time with your dear ones, and remembering those who have passed. We all know about the bonfire, the Jack-o-Lanterns, and scary costumes. But what about something different? So check out below some rare Halloween traditions.
Hiding the Knife
Even though Halloween or “All Hallow’s Evening” is a celebration that started in Ireland, all major countries now celebrate it. In Germany for example, people will hide their knives before going to sleep. According to this tradition, hiding the knives in the house before going to sleep will keep away encounters with all sorts of malicious spirits that might come visiting during the night.
Placing chairs by the fireside
Another quite rare and unique tradition that originated in Czechoslovakia is to place chairs by the fireside on Halloween. Families will place one chair for each living member, and one chair for each of the dear ones that has departed. It is believed that the souls of the dear ones return for this night, so their spirit should be welcomed by the family.
Feeding the angry ghosts
In Hong Kong, one rare tradition on Halloween is to burn pictures with money or fruits on them. It is believed that when burned, these pictures will actually reach the world of the spirits and offer comfort to these spirits. According to the belief, there might be many angry ghosts circulating on Halloween night, and they must be “calmed down” by burning food and gifts that are intended for them.
Offering Soul Cakes
There is an ancient old tradition of offering soul cakes, which are small round cakes filled with cinnamon, currants, raisins or ginger. This tradition was celebrated in Ireland and even Britain during the Middle Ages, but it is a tradition still live today in countries such as Portugal. These cakes are offered to little children and the poor people. “Souling” is actually a Christian practice where poor people with little ones were going from door to door singing prayer songs for the dead. The tradition of the “soul cakes” is believed to be the beginning of the trick-or-treating tradition as we know it today.
Eating traditional Barnbrack Cake
A unique Irish tradition on Halloween makes families eat the Barnbrack cake. This is a fruit cake, but the interesting part is that in each cake there will be hidden a piece of rag, a ring, and a coin. Each member gets one slice of cake and looking forward to see what they will find in it. Those who get the piece of rag, will supposedly put up with financial struggles. Those who get the ring will most surely get married soon, while those who get the coin will enjoy a financially prosperous year.
Walnut Boat Sailing
Sailing walnut boats on Halloween is quite a rare tradition, dating back the 1900s. Empty walnut shells are used to create tiny boats, and then using a pin, tiny candles with a name are fastened to the walnut boat. Everybody at the party gets one such tiny boat with a candle with their name attached to it. Next the walnut boats with the lit candles are set afloat in a tub with water. It is said that the candle that will extinguish first on its own is actually denoting that the respective person will remain a bachelor/spinster for their entire life. Walnut Boat Sailing has been recently taken up as a Halloween party game.