Halloween is coming up so we thought, along with some tips on keeping the kids safe, we’d let you in on a little ghostly history. And surprisingly enough to us, it turns out that St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only holiday with Irish roots.
First off, the name Halloween comes from All Hallows’ Eve, the evening before Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day. This was in the eighth century and was meant to honor the church’s saints and martyrs.
But before that, it was the Celts who lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward of roaming ghosts. These Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in Ireland, England, and Northern France, celebrated the New Year on November 1. This was the end of the harvest and the beginning of the darkness and cold of winter.
The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the worlds of the living and the dead became indistinguishable. So on October 31 they celebrated Samhain (pronounced sow-in) when they believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. They built fires, sacrificed animals to the gods, and dressed up in costumes of animal heads and skins to tell each other’s fortunes.
After all, with all those ghosts floating around, it was easier to predict the future!
So there you go, a little Irish history in anticipation of this year’s Samhain celebration with the ghosts (kids) flying up and down the street. So in honor of the parents of all of these ghosts, we consulted the Insurance Information Institute (III) for some tips to keep them safe:
- Keep walkways well-lit and free of clutter. You want your visiting kings and queens, ghosts and goblins to be able to see the stairs that they’re inevitably unfamiliar with.
- Tie down electrical cords that may be on the front porch. They may be powering a Halloween display or attached to a light, so be sure no one will trip over them.
- Fix or reinforce any wobbly railings.
- Use battery-operated bulbs instead of candles in your jack-o-lantern. They look just as good as the candles, won’t go out, and they’re easier to use. And if they get tipped, they won’t start a fire.
By the way, if a jack-o-lantern goes up in flames, your homeowners insurance policy covers fire related losses. Also, every once in a while your home gets vandalized, so there again, your homeowner’s insurance will provide coverage.
Lastly, be sure your Personal Liability limit is adequate, as personal injuries to ghosts and goblins is very possible as they race up to your door for treats. We aren’t sure why, but it seems impossible for kids on Halloween night to walk, it just isn’t in them. They absolutely must run.
So, we wish all of our friends in the Mohawk Valley a safe and enjoyable Samhain (we mean Halloween)!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.