Halloween begins the yearly period of time that is dedicated to remembering the dead. Though it is not often celebrated that way today, this is what gives it its scary reputation. Today, it is a fun holiday for people to dress up in costumes and for children to go trick-or-treating around their communities.
Costume parties and trick-or-treating are the most popular Halloween traditions in many parts of the world. While children spend their time trick-or-treating, many adults attend costume parties. Halloween represents all things spooky and scary, so horror movies are commonly released and played on television throughout October. Haunted houses may be set up in some places around town. Houses are decorated with scary symbols such as skeletons and witches. Another important tradition is that of carving pumpkins into faces. This began as a way to keep the evil spirits away. Christian families may celebrate All Hallows Eve on this day, where they honor loved ones who have passed away. They often visit graveyards and churches to pay tribute to the dead. For some, Halloween is the first day of a 3-day event celebrating those who have passed.
Many historians believe that the origin of Halloween dates back to a Celtic festival called Samhain, which happened around the same time. This festival most likely merged with All Saints Day or All Hallows day, a Christian holiday that praises saints, particularly those that don’t have their own day. All Hallows day takes place on November 1st, so All Hallows Eve was the name given to the day before. On this day, people honor the dead. Some places once believed that on All Hallows Eve, souls were given the ability to travel freely throughout the world of the living. This helped foster the ideas of Halloween as we know it today. This celebration was most likely brought to North America by Irish and Scottish immigrants. In America it became a much more commercialized holiday, which has affected the way it is celebrated all over the world.