Spice up your Halloween Holiday
Winter is coming… Well, at least in the northern hemisphere it is. The beautiful orange, yellow, red and brown leaves have fallen on the ground and colour is quickly fading from the Canadian countryside. Fortunately the winter season won’t kick off with dull greys! As the leaves are wilting, Jack-o’-lantern like Halloween pumpkins is popping up everywhere.
So whether you are a visitor from abroad, or a Canadian resident, here are some tips to help you acclimatise to winter. Hop over to the nearest Starbucks to get yourself spiced up with a colourful Pumpkin Spice Latté. Go to Wallmart and get yourself some Pumpkin Spice Cheerios to cheer up your mornings. Or get some Pumkin Spice Oreo’s to have with your afternoon tea.
Origins & Customs of Halloween
But why all the pumpkins for Halloween, where do they come from? What inspired the Pumpkin Spice revolution? Is All Hallows’ Eve or as most people know it, Halloween a pumpkin festival? Certainly not! Contrary to popular belief, the holiday did not originate in the United States and unfortunately not in Canada either. Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which basically translate into “summer’s end”. The holiday only became popular in Northern America after the great influx of Irish immigrants in the mid 1900’s.
Looking back at the roots of Halloween, it is said that during Samhain spirits of the deceased would revisit their families and that on this night restless spirits or ghosts could exact vengeance on those that wronged them whilst still alive. To ward off these spirits people carved lanterns from turnips. Turnips got replaced by pumpkins in North America because pumpkins are bigger, softer and easier to carve. Another Halloween custom, trick-or-treating comes from mumming, where people dressed up and walked from house to house to pray for the inhabitants in exchange for sweets. Interestingly the first documented case of trick-or-treating on North American soil took place in Kingston, Ontario during Halloween in 1911.
Things to do this Halloween
But enough of the boring stuff. What can you expect to do in Canada this Halloween? With tours and attractions all across Canada, fit for children and adults alike, there is a little bit of holiday fun for everyone! Take a ghost-guided tour of Old Quebec and learn about the dangerous criminals from hundreds of years ago or. Attend the Annual Pumpkinfest on the Galey Family Farm in Victoria or go for a haunted-Halloween zip-line tour at Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours in Sooke. You can also take a spooky train ride through Stanley Park in Vancouver. If you are down for a scare from the underworld, visit the Haunted Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee for a Big-Boo Halloween tour or go for a Ghouls’ Night Out at Heritage Park Village in Calgary.
Maybe you prefer to stay indoors and enjoy a pint with your friends? No problem; get some properly brewed pumpkin beer from a specialty brewer and have a slice of freshly baked pumpkin bread while you are at it. For those of you that just want to stay at home, be sure to stock up on the toffee apples, roasted corn, pumpkin pie and ghost themed candy for when the trick-or-treaters come knocking.
So what shall it be this Halloween, trick-or-Spiced Pumpkin Latté?
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