What Is So Spooky About Halloween Weather?

January 29, 2019
Why Halloween is in October

Why does Halloween fit so well with October? It’s just interesting to think about how much weather and daylight affect the whole nature of a celebration.

Back on the 13th of May of 609 A.D., the Catholic feast of “All Martyrs Day” was established. It was eventually moved to November 2 (probably to blend and supplant the older Celtic festival of “Samhaim”) and later renamed “All Soul’s Day” or “All-hallows.”

The night before, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween!

In the fall, the weather is growing colder and plants are dying. Back then, people had to decide which livestock they would feed all winter and which would be slaughtered. (The colder weather meant the meat would last better than it would in the heat of summer.) So, it was a cold and bloody time of year. 

A holiday amid spirits and slaughtering feels very different from the spring-like days of flowers and little lambs, doesn’t it? 

November was a rather bloody time of the year! 

Europeans countered the colder, darker times with bonfires and light in the darkness.  Late October and early November nights are much darker than those of May. Some of these practices continued into the Christian era with Day of the Dead bonfires.

To ward of those spirits of darkness, scary masks and costumes were worn. Those spooky Halloween costumes are a tradition to this day, as trick-or-treaters dress as skeletons, ghouls, zombies and the walking dead.


Finally, the colder weather brings the tradition of cakes and fattening treats, something we do not normally crave in the springtime filled with fresh new greens.  Trick-or-treating just seems to be the right kind of indulgence as we get ready for winter.

Boo! Source: Wikipedia

Celebrating this holiday in springtime wouldn’t quite feel the same, would it? Today, we defy the growing cold and darkness with food and fun!

See your 7-day weather for Halloween week here.

About This Blog

Are you a weather watcher? Welcome to “Weather Whispers” by James Garriss and until recently, Evelyn Browning Garriss. With expertise and humor, this column covers everything weather—from weather forecasts to WHY extreme weather happens to ways that weather affects your life from farming to your grocery bill. Enjoy weather facts, folklore, and fun!

With heavy hearts, we share the news that historical climatologist and immensely entertaining Almanac contributor Evelyn Browning Garriss passed away in late June 2017. Evelyn shared her lifetime of weather knowledge with Almanac editors and readers, explaining weather phenomena in conversation and expounding on topics in articles for the print edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac as well as in these articles. We were honored to know and work with her as her time allowed, which is to say when she was not giving lectures to, writing articles for, and consulting with scientists, academia, investors, and government agencies around the world. She will be greatly missed by the Almanac staff and readers.