Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a high school student, bat advocate, and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Rachael has been writing the Baturday News for over three years.
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a good week! I would like to wish everyone a very happy Bat Appreciation Month! In celebration of this spectacular month, I decided to find out why bats are associated with October and Halloween.
Apparently, it dates all the way back to when the ancient Celtic people celebrated their holiday of Samhain. They would gather around bonfires to ward off evil spirits. These bonfires would attract flying insects, which would attract bats. The bats were simply looking for a tasty treat, but because the people saw them flying around, they became associated with the holiday. When the Celtic holiday of Samhain evolved into Halloween, the bats became part of Halloween too.
When the vampire bat was discovered in Central and South America in the 17th century, people began associating that bat with the holiday as well. Apparently, a little teeny, tiny bat that sucks blood was considered a “natural association for a dark holiday.” Of course, the teeny, tiny little creature grew tremendously with the stories of Dracula, but that vampire bat story is complete fiction.
You can read about the history of bats and Halloween here.
Next week, maybe we’ll compare the real Dracula story to the fiction one. I need to do some research first.
In the meantime, I hope everyone has an absolutely wonderful week! And I hope you all enjoy Bat Appreciation Month as much as I will!
[The association of bats and Halloween is not well understood, but for a fascinating look at bats and folklore, check out Dr. Gary McCraken’s series Bats in Folklore published in BATS magazine, available through Bat Conservation International. Here’s a timely installment in the series. –Ed.]