October 31, 2018
On October 31st, children dressed in costumes knock on their neighbors’ doors and yell, “Trick or Treat” when the door opens.
Dressed up as pirates and princesses, ghosts and popular heroes of the day like Superman or Spiderman they hold bags open to catch the candy or other goodies that the neighbors drop in.
As each child is given a treat the neighbors comment on the costumes and try to guess who is under the masks. Halloween originated as a celebration connected with evil spirits. These included witches flying on broomsticks with black cats, ghosts, goblins and skeletons which are popular trick-or-treat costumes and decorations for greeting cards and windows.
Black is one of the traditional Halloween colors, most likely because Halloween festivals and traditions took place at night time. In the weeks before October 31, Americans decorate windows of houses and schools with silhouettes of witches and black cats. Pumpkins are also a symbol of Halloween. The pumpkin is an orange-colored squash, and orange has become the other traditional Halloween color.
History of Halloween
Hundreds of years ago at the end of summer festivals the name “Halloween” first appeared in 16th century Scottish literature. Recollections of events associated with modern day Halloween, like dressing up in costumes or playing pranks, are found in the 17th century history books.
Halloween Celebrations in the United States
Halloween is very popular holiday in the USA, and there is a strong industry to support this. In most strip malls around the US, shops dedicated to selling Halloween supplies typically open in the first week of October with a full inventory ready for sale.
As Halloween approaches on October 31, the store begins to sell more and more items, ranging from costumes to make-up to fake teeth and other such things.
One of the reasons why Halloween is a popular holiday is that it is fun and does not have any inherent obligations. Many Americans have started to resent certain holidays, even Christmas, because of the obligation to give gifts and see certain people. The crowds of people associated with the holiday season along with the expensive price of transportation around this time can lead to a very stressful holiday season. On the other hand, Halloween does not have any of these negative aspects. There is no increase in the price of air fare for a flight on October 31. There are no extra crowds in the malls and on the streets, except for on Halloween night itself. There are no gifts to be given, and no expectations to fulfill. Instead, most Americans just want to have a good time doing something silly – dressing up as something of someone very strange.
While some modern day observers see deep spiritual connections with the day, the history books do not seem to support this viewpoint. Most of those who celebrated the holiday in the 16th and 17th centuries were very religious anyhow and took note of the normal religious implications inherent in most festivals of this time period. For instance, the tradition of carving pumpkins in the United States dates back to people in Ireland and Scotland who carved turnips. This was done in order to remember the souls who were stuck in purgatory, a place between Heaven and Hell.
Modern day Halloween observers have made much stronger spiritual and religious connections with the holiday, creating a very polarized situation. Many fundamental Christians have created their own festivals on Halloween to encourage others to forgo the contemporary version of Halloween. Others have created “hell houses” which attempt to show the horrors associated with an afterlife of pain and suffering. On the other side, some groups who align themselves with the occult or devil worship hold special ceremonies on Halloween as a day of extreme respect for the dark spirits which they believe traverse the planet.
Popular Halloween Costumes
Wearing a costume is he most important part of Halloween. This costume is handmade or can be bought from the store. While store bought costumes are usually more accurate as far as copying the person or thing which is trying to be mimicked, handmade costumes often get much respect and interest from fellow Halloween observers. Some of the most popular costumes for Halloween include the following:
- Cartoon character
- No costume at all
- Anything sexy
Generally you can divide Halloween party goers into two groups. The first one dresses up in a very unique outfit which often draws attention to itself for being cool, while there is another group of people who dress up for Halloween who see it as a chance to wear something sexy.
Top Halloween Costume Online Stores
With Halloween each year comes the opportunity to host or participate in dress up parties and trick or treating around your local area. Listed below are some of the top online costume stores specifically for Halloween costumes.
Amongst them you will find costumes for a wide variety of Halloween characters including cannibal, Frankenstein, clown, ghoul, monster, grim reaper, Ghouldilocks, mummy, skeleton, vampire, werewolf, witch and zombie.
There are many great outfits available including black vampire, bride of Frankenstein, devil costumes, Dracula capes, headless talking skull and horror film costumes.
Common Traditions of Halloween
Along with the wearing of costumes, there are many other traditions which go along with Halloween. They include the following:
Typically a large, round, orange pumpkin is chosen and carved out, with one side being a face. A small candle is placed inside the jack-o-lantern in order to illuminate the outline of the face.
Bobbing for apples
This is a very traditional activity. It is a good family party activity and great for parties.
Watching horror films.
Anything from the classic Frankenstein film to contemporary horror flicks, watching movies with themes connected with Halloween is certainly a popular way to spend Halloween.
Visiting a haunted house.
The Halloween industry has produced thousands of attractions of possessed ghosts or spirits. Usually, people pay money to enter a building which has been rigged with props and actors who surprise and scare the visitors as they walk through the haunted house.
No Halloween party is complete without at least a few scary stories.Talking in a low voice or silly voice while everyone else crowds together on the floor or around a fire and listens can be a lot of fun!
The following recipes are quick and easy to make. Great for a Halloween Party!
Spooky Halloween Eyeballs
20 cranberries or blueberries
Red and blue icing pens
1. Push one cranberry into the centre of each marshmallow.
2. Draw bloodshot lines with the icing pens all over the marshmallow.
3. Set aside to dry and serve as a spooky snack.
Halloween Popcorn Mix
10 cups popped popcorn
1 cup raisins
14 oz salted peanuts
16 oz plain M & M’s
1 cup Reese’s Pieces
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Serve in the same bowl or package up some handfuls in clear bags and tie up with some colorful ribbon.
Vampire’s Bloody Punch
48oz cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
½ liter ginger ale, chilled
1 liter lemonade, chilled
Lots of ice cubes
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large punch bowl and add ice-cubes to chill the punch.
A great punch for a Halloween party!
The most important aspect of Halloween is to have fun. Dressing up in a crazy outfit, going to a haunted house with friends, or staying home and answering the doorbell for trick or treaters will all result in an enjoyable October 31st.
Halloween is one of the few American holidays which are not inherently family-related. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day, Halloween is celebrated in the United States with parties among friends. Some of the telltale signs that it is going to be Halloween soon are jack-o-lanterns, costumed people trick or treating, and houses decorated with spider webs, skeletons, and other such adornments.