The Junior Age

Month: October 2022

What Is Halloween & Why Do We Celebrate It?

Halloween is a popular holiday festival celebrated on October 31st, every year in the US, Ireland, England, and Canada. It is one of the oldest holidays in the world and is considered to be the second most successful commercial holiday in the US after Christmas. This holiday is also known by many different names such as Snap-Apple Night, All Hallows’ Eve, Witches Night, etc. With the roots of its origin dating back thousands of centuries ago, Halloween borrows its traditions and practices from many different cultures.

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Why Do We Celebrate Halloween & What Are The Halloween Traditions?

1. Where Was Halloween Originated?


Origins of Halloween

Halloween is believed to have originated around 2,000 years ago. The ancient Celtic people in Europe celebrated the end of summer and harvest every year on October 31st. This festival was called Samhain (pronounced “sow-win”). On the night of October 31st, the Celts believed that ghosts of their dead would come back to visit the Earth and therefore large bonfires were lit in villages to ward off evil spirits. 

By 43 AD, the Romans conquered most of the Celtic territory and brought their festivals with them. However, a few centuries later, November 1st came to be celebrated as All Saints’ Day or All Hallows’ Day to honor some saints. And October 31st was celebrated as All Hallows’ Eve, which later became Halloween. 

Did You Know?

Celts were people that mostly lived around the area that is now Ireland, the UK, and northern France. 

2. What Are The Famous Halloween Traditions?

There are many popular traditions of Halloween that people celebrate with full zest and zeal. A lot of these rituals have interesting stories behind them, let’s find out-

Scary Costumes


Halloween is synonymous with scary and crazy Halloween costumes. And the tradition was started by the Celts during Samhain, to ward off evil spirits and confuse the ghosts. The people would dress up in scary costumes to scare away the ghosts. Slowly and steadily wearing scary and weird Halloween costumes became an integral part of Halloween. 

Carving Jack-O-Lanterns


Jack-o-Lanterns originated in Ireland and were originally made using turnips. According to an Irish folktale, a man named Stingy Jack was condemned to wander the Earth as a ghost. He was given a carved-out turnip with a lump of coal to light his way. The locals then started carving frightening faces into their turnips to scare the evil spirits. Today, the carving Jack-o-Lanterns have become a staple of the Halloween festival. People in the US carve pumpkins and use them as decoration outside their houses.

Going Trick-or-Treating


It is believed that during the festival of Samhain, Celtic people would keep food out to please the wandering souls and ghosts. Eventually, people began dressing up as ghosts and demons and went door-to-door performing songs in exchange for food and drink. It is also believed that children and poor adults would go door-to-door to collect food and money in return for prayers said for the dead. This eventually evolved into the present-day custom of trick-or-treating. Today, kids go door-to-door dressed up in their Halloween costumes asking for candies. 

Decorating With Black and Orange


Black and orange are Halloween theme colors. From decorations to costumes, mostly everything on Halloween is in black and orange. These classic Halloween colors also find their origins back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. Black signifies the “death” of summer and orange represents the color of the crops and the autumn harvest season.

How To Throw A Halloween Party?


If you want to throw a Halloween party for your friends all you need is the following items: 

  • A fun costume, you could turn into any of your favorite cartoon, movie, or comic characters like Superman, Spiderman, or Bugs Bunny. Or simply throw over a white bedsheet and turn into a cute ghost. 
  • Decorate the party area with orange and blue items like balloons, colored charts, curtains, bedsheets, etc. 
  • Grab a small container and go trick-or-treating with your friends.
  • Watch a scary movie with your friends and family.
  • Learn to carve a spooky pumpkin with your friends.
  • Lastly, remember to have lots of fun!


  • The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.
  • In China, a festival similar to Halloween is celebrated. It is called the Hungry Ghost Festival.
  • Mexicans celebrate Día de Muertos, a three-day festival from October 31 to November 2. This festival is similar to Halloween and is also called the Day of the Dead.
  • The word “witch” comes from the Old English word wicce, meaning wise woman.
  • Until the 1950s, candy was not given to trick-or-treaters. A long time ago, trick-or-treaters were handed pieces of cake, nuts, fruits, coins, and little toys. 

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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope: The Ultimate Guide

The James Webb Space Telescope launched on December 25, 2021, is the largest and most powerful space telescope ever created. It is the successor of the Hubble telescope that released its first image on July 12, 2022. It aims to enable researchers to examine the state of the universe 200 million years after the Big Bang. Some of the very first galaxies to develop will be visible in photographs taken by the telescope. It will also be able to observe objects in our solar system from Mars outward, see into dust clouds to determine where new stars and planets are developing, and investigate the atmospheres of planets circling distant stars.

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James Webb Space Telescope Discoveries & Interesting Facts:

1. Images That Have Been Captured By The James Webb NASA Telescope

Since its launch on December 25, 2021, the James Webb telescope has provided a significant amount of information with image data. It has captured some of the most awe-inspiring cosmic images with greater details than those provided by NASA’s Hubble telescope. 

The James Webb Telescope surprised people all over the world with the release of its first image of the Carina Nebula, Southern Ring Nebula, and Stephen’s Quintet on July 12, 2022. 

The most recent images that left us in awe were of the Tarantula Nebula and the clearest images of Neptune which showed its rings. Tarantula Nebula images were released on September 6, 2022, and the photos of Neptune’s ring were published on September 21, 2022. 

2. Indian Scientists That Were A Part of the James Webb Telescope Project

A large group of genius scientists were involved in the success of NASA’s James Webb Telescope. But do you know the 3 Indian-origin scientists who were also behind the success of this revolutionary space telescope?

Hashima Hasan

Lucknow-based Dr. Hashima Hasan is the Deputy Program Scientist of the James Webb Space Telescope mission. She expressed her dream of becoming a scientist in an interview which began when she was just 5 years old. When she was young her grandmother had taken her out in the backyard to spot the Sputnik satellite. As a Deputy Program Scientist, Dr. Hasan ensures that the James Webb Telescope mission stays true to NASA’s strategic objectives.

Dr. Hashima Hasan
Source: JWST

Kalyani Sukhatme

Kalyani Sukhatme was born in Mumbai and works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is working as a Project Manager for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on James Webb Space Telescope. MIRI is one of the four key instruments that support NASA’s James Webb Telescope mission. Her journey as a Project Manager at MIRI began in 2010, and since then Kalyani has contributed significantly to the development of infrared detectors which is a vital component of the James Webb Space Telescope. 

Kalyani Sukhatme
Source: JWST

Kartik Sheth

NASA’s Programme Scientist Kartik Sheth is a member of the communications team of the James Webb mission. He has received NASA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award for his work against racism within the organization. Apart from his contribution to the success of the James Webb Space Telescope, Kartik has also been behind the success of SOFIA, Spitzer, the Origins Space Telescope, and the Hubble fellowship program.

Kartik Sheth
Source: JWST

3. Interesting Facts About The James Webb Space Telescope

  • The size of Webb telescope is as big as a tennis court and is as tall as a three-story building.
  • A light that is undetectable to the human eye is seen by the James Webb Space Telescope. We experience heat from this light, which is known as infrared radiation. The infrared cameras on the James Webb Space Telescope will allow it to see through cosmic dust.
  • It will also be able to see objects (like the first galaxies) that are so far away that the expansion of the universe has made their light shift from visible to infrared.
  • Scientists have discovered thousands of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun and they are known as exoplanets. The James Webb Space Telescope will help to study the atmospheres of these exoplanets too.
  • The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

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