“When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween.”
With just a number of days left, Halloween, just like each year, is creating a lot of excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness among the people of different nations. It’s the same for the old to the tiny tots. Hmm…What comes to you’re minds when you think about Halloween? Spooky thoughts, bone-chilling stories, costumes, pranks, parties, trick or treating…? Well, it seems all of these come to one’s mind at once like a gush of wind in your face. Before going further, let’s go back a little, to the older times where it all began…
Halloween has it’s roots of origin from the festival of Samhain, which was celebrated among the Celts of ancient The UK and England. It was widely a belief among the people that, during Samhain, the souls of the dead return to visit their homes and those who died during the year would travel to the otherworld. Thus people would light bonfires on hilltops to face the winter as well as to shoo the evil spirits away. They also wore masks and certain other disguises so as to not get recognized by the ghosts that were present. This was how hobgoblins, witches, fairies, and demons came in association with the day.
In the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV established All Saint’s Day, which was originally celebrated on May 13, and in the coming century, maybe in an effort to supersede and replace the Pagan holiday with a Christian celebration, it was shifted to November 1. The evening before Halloween became a holy or hallowed eve. Thus Halloween is the contraction of All Hallows’ Eve. It initiates the season of All Hallowtide, which lasts up to 3 days and wind up with the All Soul’s Day. But in most parts of Europe and North America, its observance is highly non-religious.
That’s that for some history to munch on. Let’s talk about the present while we live in the present. How is it celebrated in the current scenario? Well,.. it involves a lot of fun for sure. People all around the world, irrespective of their differences on any basis, wait for this day to arrive with utmost patience. In a religious manner, Halloween involves church services, prayers, fasting, and vigil. Some Christians abstain from consuming meat on All Hallows’ Eve and restricts themselves to vegetarian foods like apples, potato pancakes, soul cakes, etc. But since nowadays it is largely a secular and commercial celebration, it involves fun activities like watching horror movies, sharing scary stories, visiting “haunted attractions”, playing divination games, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, etc. The most famous of all these are trick-or-treating and “guising”, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns (in Irish Folklore said to represent a “soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell”) and playing pranks.
At Halloween, public spaces, yards and some houses may be decorated with traditional symbols like witches, cobwebs, skeletons, ghosts, and ghouls, etc. The costumes are generally created by keeping these symbols as the ideal types. Over time, it has extended to include popular characters like celebrities, characters from fiction, etc. An interesting fact is, even fundraiser programs have been associated with Halloween. One such good example would be the “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” fundraiser program to support UNICEF ( “a United Nations Programme that provides humanitarian aid to children in developing countries”). It is estimated that, as a part of the program, children have collected over $118 million for UNICEF since it’s initialization.
Halloween traditions and celebrations vary from country to country. In Scotland and Ireland, it includes holding parties, children dressing up in costumes going “guising”. Other practices in Ireland involve lighting bonfires and displaying fireworks etc. In Britain, kids would resort to playing practical jokes on people trying to scare them witless.
Hmmm…..Who’s hungry? Something smells yummy…..
The food items associated with Halloween include Barmbrack, Bonfire Toffee, Candy/Toffee Apples, Candy Corn, Candy Pumpkin, Chocolate, Monkey Nuts, Caramel Apples, Caramel Corn, Colcannon, Halloween Cake, Sweets/Candies shaped like Halloween symbols, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted Sweet Corn, Soul Cakes…….On and on and on goes the list…
Halloween Events in 2019
A great many events have been planned and organized, on 31st October 2019, in the USA. Just type in “Events regarding Halloween on 31st October 2019” and a never-ending list of events just pop up. Going through it would be a scare now. These events promise an amazing time for someone looking to have some fun. Ranging from Halloween Drag Shows to Costume Contest to Cooking Competitions, they come as a whole package. These are organized with the sole purpose to entertain anybody regardless of their age groups. Some of the events for the day are:
- Denton Halloween Fest (6:00-11:30 PM),
- Harlem Grown’s Halloween Festival (3:00-6:00 PM),
- Harper’s Choice’s Halloween Festival (6:00-9:00 PM),
- Tidbit’s M.A.D. Halloween (31 Oct – 1 Nov),
- Miami Halloween Festival 2019 (31 Oct-1 Nov),
- St. John’s Halloween Carnival 2019 ( 4-7 PM), etc…
The time of Halloween brings a lot of joy. It brings people together. Scary times do bring people together in the end, it seems. Well well,..time to make or break some plans, I guess…
Popular Halloween Costumes 2019
Here are some of the trending Halloween costumes of 2019:
For more costumes check here.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. 👻 🎃