Home » Society and Culture » Holidays

Halloween History

Jun 17, 2008
Halloween celebration traditions are held every October 31st. Today the ones who enjoy Halloween the most are the children. Halloween is a popular time to get up in fancy dress and go from house to house trick or treating. Some people take the time to set up displays in their homes and front yards with tombs and ghosts in a Halloween theme.

Halloween is very old Celtic festival, and has continued through time most strongly in the Celtic communities in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. From there, with emigration, Halloween has spread around the world, most notably to the United States. In later years, the spread of popular American culture has kindled new interest in Halloween to some places for the first time, such as Asia and Western Europe.

The early Celtic celebrations were pagan festivals about the changing seasons as winter approached. By tradition it was a time when people could communicate with the dead, and magic was about in the land. The early Christian church, as with many pagan cultures, absorbed these festivities into the Christian calendar. All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day, was designated on November 1st. All Hallows Evening, the night of October 31st, became known as Hallow E'en, later just Halloween, and the time for the customary celebrations.

Halloween was a community festival, often around a warming fire and with lots of fun games. The apple harvest was in full swing, and games such as trying to eat an apple on a string or floating in a barrel of water without using your hands, were popular. Children would go from door to door to gather fruit, nuts and other goodies for the festivities, which was the origin of the "treating" visits of today. In most places, especially in Scotland, the children would sing or put on a performance in return for the treats they collected. Today the treats collected are more likely to be candies and sweets, and sometimes money.

Early on, Halloween "tricks" were secretive and often clever pranks played on some adults by children. The mischievous spirits that were said to be abroad on Halloween were blamed. This activity was especially popular in Ireland. A long time ago, tricks and treating combined into an ultimatum: give a treat or become the victim of a trick. This undesirable habit led to such unpleasantness as tossing eggs at houses and soaping windows, and more serious vandalism. Nowadays such unruly behavior is not often seen.

Halloween parties are often held with a haunted house theme decoration. To the delight of children, Halloween menu items often include tomato soup renamed as vampire soup, spaghetti dishes renamed with cemetery humor as worms, and the ever-popular breadsticks tipped with sliced almonds and known as witches' fingers. With so many pumpkins being made into carved jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin dishes such as pumpkin pie are often a feature of Halloween menus.

Over the last few years, the magical themes of the popular Harry Potter books have added fresh fun to costumes and decorations for children's Halloween parties.

Halloween costume parties have also become popular events for adults as well in recent years. They are a great excuse to dress up and have fun. It seems the trend today is for any costume to be acceptable, not necessarily just the traditional witches, vampires and ghosts of Halloween. Costume design inspirations are now drawn from many sources, such as recent movies and television series. Some costumes are just witty, such as the seasonally appropriate theme of a "leaf blower", consisting just of a leaf suspended from the brim of a cap where it can be blown.
About the Author
Parents living the family life at home are often expected to make the costumes and organize the celebrations of Halloween. This is a website with some Halloween background and practical Halloween ideas to help you make it a fun evening for the kids.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 246
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources