It’s one of the world’s oldest holidays and a patchwork of traditions and superstitions that span countries, centuries, beliefs, and religions.
In other words, it’s awesome.
To celebrate the day (and night) and venerate all forms of harvest beauties and beasties, we decided to weave a bit of levity into today’s post. So get your apples ready for bobbing and your jack-o-lanterns prepped for candlelight.
Let’s jump-start this broomstick.
First, a Brief Walk through History
According to history.com, Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), when the Celts believed the veil between the real world and spirit world was porous enough for the ghosts of the dead to get through and cause mayhem. Among other things, this belief played out in the form of donning costumes and masks to ward off evil spirits.
That was 2,000 years ago.
As you can guess, the fête has changed over the millennia. Ultimately it’s thought to be an amalgam of four festivals: Samhain, Feralia (the Roman festival commemorating the dead), Pomona (also Roman, honoring the goddess of fruit and trees), and Hallowmas (Catholic “All Souls’ Day”).
Next, a Few Fun Halloween Facts
Trick or Treating
This tradition has been around since medieval times, though the early days were far from happy: poverty-stricken children and adults wore costumes and begged for food and money in exchange for songs or prayers. That was primarily in Europe. In Celtic country, bowls of food were placed outside one’s house during Samhain to appease errant spirits that roamed the earth on October 31st.
It’s unclear how the ritual shifted from its origins to the present-day practice of happy children and sugar. It briefly went out of style during WWII because of sugar shortages. By 1952 it was back in full swing, partly thanks to the Peanuts comic strip.
When the Romans conquered the Celts, they instituted the worship of Pomona, goddess of the harvest, who is often portrayed sitting on a basket of fruits and flowers. Her sacred fruit: apples, of course.
Actually, it’s jack-o-turnip.
This comes from Ireland where Jack, a devious Irish villain, was so wicked that neither God nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by heaven and hell, Jack wandered the earth endlessly looking for a place to rest. His only warmth was the flickering candle inside a rotten turnip.
The Witch’s Broomstick
Witches – Wiccan “wise ones” – seemed to be fans of pharmacology. Prior to rituals, they rubbed a hallucinogenic compound onto their skin, which gave them intense feelings of flying. Because they also often carried broomsticks to help them navigate terrain and vault over streams, the association stuck.
And finally …
31 Reasons to Love Marketing Automation
In honor of this crazy, spooky, anything-goes holiday, we’ve decided that Marketing Automation will be wearing the costume of a super-awesome robot with 31 amazing superpowers:
- Marketing Automation kicks labor-intensive marketing to the curb. With a vengeance.
- If it wanted to, Marketing Automation could bring the mullet back in style.
- Marketing Automation makes you look 10 years younger.
- George Clooney feels ignored when Marketing Automation is in the same room.
- Marketing Automation makes KPIs, data analytics, and online reporting even more exciting than they already are.
- Without Marketing Automation, the earth would stop rotating (and online revenues would plummet).
- Marketing Automation once gave Chuck Norris a roundhouse kick to the toupee.
- You can thank Marketing Automation for that huge increase in conversions … and also for saving your marriage.
- It’s so terrifyingly powerful, at Halloween, ghosts sit around the campfire telling Marketing Automation stories.
- Albert Einstein stole most of his theories from Marketing Automation. It’s okay, though, because it’s all relative.
- Marketing Automation can make social media less scary. Even for people who don’t know how to stop typing in ALL CAPS.
- When Marketing Automation drunk dials you, you don’t actually mind.
- Marketing Automation turns spooky, abandoned websites into revenue-generating powerhouses.
- Marketing Automation gives less of a damn than the honey badger.
- Without Marketing Automation, most email campaigns would have the same clickthrough rates as Nigerian phishing scams.
- Beyoncé and Madonna are hoping to get roles in the next Marketing Automation movie. Lady Gaga already has the lead.
- Marketing Automation puts the “Oh!” in SEO.
- Marketing Automation turns redheads into natural redheads.
- Marketing Automation isn’t afraid to display its nurturing side. Especially when it means nurturing leads through the conversion funnel.
- Aretha Franklin R-E-S-P-E-C-T-S Marketing Automation.
- When Marketing Automation integrates with a CRM, it always remembers to send flowers the next day.
- Marketing Automation makes every online event special. Even 3-hour webinars with endless Q&A sessions.
- Marketing Automation makes your car Teflon to traffic tickets.
- When Marketing Automation does the robot, everyone on the dance floor stops and stares (in a good way).
- When it comes to A/B testing, Marketing Automation always knows in advance which version will win.
- Marketing Automation keeps the zombie apocalypse at bay.
- In a monster truck competition, Marketing Automation would crush Robosaurus.
- Marketing Automation makes your webinar attract more visitors than Ft. Lauderdale on Spring Break.
- Stores always run out of “Sexy Marketing Automation” costumes weeks before Halloween.
- Marketing Automation gives you much more time to plan a proper Transylvanian Voodoo Ball … unlike that half-baked soiree you tried to put together last year.
- Marketing Automation is better than a transmogrifying pistol when it comes to turning cold leads into hot prospects.
We leave you with the inimitable rap of Sir Vincent Price.
Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y’alls neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpses shell
The demons squeal in sheer delight
It’s you they spy, so plump, so right
For although the groove is hard to beat
It’s still you stand with frozen feet
You try to run, you try to scream
But no more sun you’ll ever see
For evil reached from the crypt
To crush you in its icy grip
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the Thriller…
… Can you dig it?
“Happy Halloween” by Cindy, used under Creative Commons license.
Vincent Price and Raven, source: Wikipedia
Traditional Cornish Jack-o-Lantern made from a turnip, source: Wikipedia
“Apple with Leaf” by Barbara L. Hanson, used under Creative Commons license.
Witch Broom Halloween Word, public domain
Happy Halloween Cat, public domain