Halloween - From Ancient Rituals to Scary Fun

Halloween has always been related to scary things such as vampires, spirits and monsters. In tracing Halloween’s origins the surprising discovery is that, even from its origins, this holiday has always been about the dead and the scary.

Jack-o’-lanterns, costumes and trick-or-treat. Halloween has come a long way from being an ancient festival to becoming a holiday that both children and adults anticipate.

Why is Halloween so scary?

Halloween began as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain translates to “summer’s end” and ancient Celts believed that at this time of the year, both good and evil spirits could roam the mortal world. The Celts wore costumes to disguise themselves as a form of protection in case they came across an evil spirit. The culture of carving pumpkins also originated as a means to ward off evil. The Celts used turnips originally; they hallowed out the turnip, carved faces on them, and put them on their windowsills to scare away bad spirits.

In America, pumpkins were used because they were softer and easier to carve. The term “Halloween” comes from the phrase, “All Hallows Even,” which means “the night before Hallows Day.” Halloween is now widely celebrated on October 31.

From Food-for-Prayers to Trick-or-Treat

Trick-or-treat can trace its origins from the practice of poor people from the middle ages called “souling,” wherein they would go door to door to receive food in exchange of praying for the dead. These days, trick-or-treat is the Halloween activity for kids wherein they get to put on costumes and go door to door and be rewarded with candies. Foods usually related with Halloween are candy apples, candy corn, and food made from pumpkin such as pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread.

The purpose of Halloween costumes has evolved from the ancient culture of wearing masks to scare off spirits to a festive activity that many enjoy. Traditionally Halloween costumes were of monsters and other scary beings.

Today however, dressing up as athletes, superheroes, Hollywood actors, and even politicians is acceptable. Unique Halloween costumes also include dressing up as an insect or animal, or dressing up as inanimate objects like a laptop, an aquarium, or a cell phone. Top choices for children’s Halloween costumes include fairy, cowboy, pirate, and princess.

As for adults, some see this as an opportunity to get into sexy costumes and go out and party. Fast becoming a trend is also putting costumes on dogs. Prizes are given away for the best and most authentic Halloween costumes during parties.

Scary Holiday, Scary Activities

Since its origins, Halloween has been tagged as the ‘scariest time of the year.’ Related with Halloween are ‘dark’ symbols such as jack-o’-lanterns, witch’s hats, candles and bats. Halloween is also the time of the year where horror films become huge. Telling ghost stories in the dark, and other activities designed to scare people are also popular during this season.

For the more adventurous, they visit known haunted places to test their courage. Most visited destinations are usually old and abandoned areas, preferably with histories of deaths such as haunted houses, old hospitals or asylums, abandoned hotels and factories, and deep forests. For those who think a good scare is entertainment, there are places that offer authentic haunted places that can give a delicious chill down the spine.

Leave a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>