Occasions 365

Halloween

Loads of Halloween stuff for kids and grownups alike

Halloween is the year's spookiest celebration, held on October 31 throughout the world. It is an occasion for all things spooky and is traditionally seen as a night when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead are at their thinnest. While modern Halloween is a derivative of both religious and secular holidays related to the spirits of the dead, including All Saints Day and All Souls Day in the Catholic faith and Hispanic world's Day of the Dead holiday, its actual history can be traced back centuries.

The History of Halloween

Most historians follow the history of Halloween back to the ancient Celtics, who held an annual fall festival known as Samhain, which roughly translates as "the end of summer." Samhain was held in commemoration of the dead, as well as the harvest and in honor of the culture's ancestors. It also traditionally marked the "Celtic New Year," as summer's end is when nights become longer than days.

However, some argue that the true history of Halloween goes back even further, to the ancient Romans and their Pomona festival, which was a form of harvest festival. It also has links to the ancient Roman version of the Day of the Dead, called Parentalia. Many modern holidays, including many Christian holidays, evolved out of ancient pagan beliefs, and Halloween is no exception.

Modern Halloween Celebrations

Everyone is familiar with modern Halloween stuff: jack-o-lanterns, scary or fun Halloween costumes, trick or treating, masquerade parties, ghost stories and horror movies. Most Halloween ideas revolve around these traditions, with specific themed variations. For example, many adults go to parties for couples where both members of the couple dress as famous romantically linked figures. Bobbing for apples and telling scary Halloween stories are all popular party ideas for children, and games like Halloween trivia are popular at adult Halloween parties.

It's important to observe a few essential rules of Halloween safety if you're taking kids trick or treating. Make sure the trick-or-treaters wear reflective or high-visibility clothing in their costumes, avoid houses that are dark, and always check candy before letting the kids dive in.

However you choose to celebrate this popular holiday, enjoy yourself and have a safe and happy Halloween!

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