Halloween is a day celebrated as a holiday every year on the 31st of October. This day has much importance in western Christianity. On this day, all the dead are remembered including saints, martyrs, and all who have left the world. Halloween is remembered by some other names as well but less commonly such as All Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve.
When is Halloween 2022?
This day will be celebrated this year on Monday 31st October 2022.
As far as Halloween history is concerned, it is thought that it is rooted in Christian beliefs and practices. Halloween origin is associated with an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. Samhain was a religious festival that was celebrated as an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, it is usually celebrated from the 31st of October to the 1st of November. The celebrants Samhain believed that barriers between the spiritual world and physical world disappeared on this night and the interactions became more between humans and denizens of the otherworld.
The Celts were a collection of different tribes living in central Europe, having similar language, religious beliefs, traditions, and culture. The Celts around 2000 years ago, living in the areas now called Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France, celebrated their new year on 1st November.
This day was the end of summer and the beginning of cold winter which was considered a period of human death. The Celts had believed that a night before new year Buller the boundary between the world of survivals and death. They started to celebrate Samhain on the night of 31st October when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead would come back to earth.
The Romans conquered a big portion of Celtic territory in 43 B.C. They ruled almost 400 years on Celtic land, two festivals of Romans combined with the traditional Celtic Samhain celebrations. One was Feralia, this festival was celebrated by the Romans in remembrance of the dead and the second festival was Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits and trees.
Halloween was introduced to America after mixing different ethnic European communities with American Indians, then a new version came into effect. It was first celebrated at parties and celebrations of harvest in which stories of the dead were discussed. Halloween rituals were initially found in New England states because of rigid protestants.
Then it became much more common in Maryland and other states. It was not actually a Halloween festival practiced in the USA. In the second half of the 19th century, when new immigrants came to America and most of them were Irish who migrated due to the potato famine, actually, Halloween started to be practiced in the USA.
Halloween costumes were traditionally followed as the important thing. This is generally called trick-or-treat. The Halloween costumes were molded after figures such as vampires, ghosts, skeletons, scary-looking witches, and devils. With the passage of time, Halloween costumes were extended to popular characters of fiction, celebrities such as ninjas, princesses, etc. Wearing costumes and going trick-or-treat was very much prevalent in Ireland and other parts of England.
The Scottish term “guising” was used because children wore costumes. In Ireland, children used facemasks which were called “False Faces”. Guising is trick-or-treating costumes, especially for children at the event of Halloween, which were worn by children before saint’s day.
Costumes in Halloween parties became more popular in America during the 19th century both for adults and children. It became very popular in the USA and Canada during the 1920s.
The book Halloween, Hallowed is Thy Name written by Eddie J. Smith tells the religious point of view on wearing costumes at Halloween events.
The variety exists in Halloween costumes of boys, girls, children, and adults. Different costumes are popular in different age groups.
“Trick-or-treat for UNICEF” is a fundraising program to provide help to the children of developing countries on a humanitarian basis. This program was started on a small level in Northeast Philadelphia in 1950. This program was extended to the whole nation in 1952 to distribute the small boxes among school children for “Trick-to Treat” in which they can obtain small donations from the houses. Since its beginning, it is estimated that children have collected more than $ 118 million for UNICEF.
A report published by the National Retail Federation explains that 30 million Americans spend almost 418 Million $ on Halloween costumes for their pets. This estimated amount was 200 Million $ in 2010. The most famous Halloween costumes for pets are pumpkins followed by hot dogs and bumblebees in third place.
Read also: Happy Halloween Wishes for Friends
Halloween Decorations are linked with different symbols. These symbols represent death or mortality. These symbols are Jack-o-lanterns, Witch Symbols, Halloween Bat, Ghost Symbol, Halloween Cat, Skeleton Halloween Symbols, Skull Symbol, Mexican Skull, Scarecrow Halloween Symbols, Owl Symbolism, Blood Symbolism, Spider Symbolism, Halloween Clowns, Corn Husks, Candy Corn.
Halloween decorations have changed with the passage of time. Jack-o-lanterns are carried by guisers on Halloween events to fight against evil powers. Jack-o-lanterns cut different vegetables such as turnips, pumpkins, and other root vegetables to light them up in a beautiful decoration. The specially cut vegetables are placed on different sites which shows beautiful scenery and it indicates the arrival of Halloween.
Turnips are carved in shape in Ireland and Scotland. The immigrants to North Africa usually use native pumpkins to carve in shapes which is easier than turnips because it is softer than turnips. This tradition started in America in 1837 but it became a part of Halloween in the mid-19th century.
The modern decorations of Halloween present many sources which include Christian eschatology, national customs, and works of Gothic and horror literature (novels such as Frankenstein and Dracula). Skull is very commonplace on Halloween because it depicts death and temporary quality of life, which exactly shows the theme of Halloween. The churches are also decorated with reference to Halloween. The back walls of churches are commonly decorated with “Last Judgment”.
The elements which show the intensity of Halloween such as pumpkin, turnip, corn husks, and scarecrows are very prevalent in relation to Halloween. The homes are also decorated with all these types of symbols around Halloween. The Halloween theme is associated with the devil, death, and mythical monsters. The black cat is also associated with Halloween symbols because the black cat has been used for a long period of time.
Different colors represent Halloween. These colors consist of black, orange, and sometimes purple, the traditional color of Halloween.
There are a bunch of games that are played on Halloween. These games can be played by children and adults. The information about a few games is discussed here.
Noise in The Night: This is a very popular Halloween game among children. A great big box and some howling kids are required to play this game to have fun on Halloween. The box should be equal to the size of the stove. The upper flaps of the box should tear off and seal the bottom. Children can decorate this box with markers or paints to make it scarier but one thing must have cared about no hole should be in the box where anybody can see outside.
The game starts when a child sits and turns over the box on his head. Then another child comes near the box and makes a howling noise. If a child who is sitting under the box can recognize the child who is making a howling noise, can escape from the box and replace it with the child who has been recognized.
Eyes on The Prize: This is also a very interesting game for children to have fun with on Halloween. In this game, two children will face each other in competition. Two barefooted children will search for eyeballs which will be placed in a big tub containing spaghetti. Cook three boxes of spaghetti noodles and cool them and place them in a laundry tub. To avoid sticking to spaghetti noodles, add one spoonful of oil to the noodles.
In this way, slipperiness will be more for the children and the game will be more interesting. Now, place three marbles at the bottom of the tub which will be found by bare-footed children. Place the two chairs on each side of the tub and allow the children to place their feet in the tub. Then start the game. The children will pull the marbles out of the tub by their toes into small boxes in just two minutes. The child who will pull more marbles out of the tub, award him/her with an appropriate gift.
Hockey Wizard Game: This game is played by the children on Halloween. It is just like hockey but played by broom and puck instead of hockey and ball. Broom and puck is easily available in stores and also can be ordered online.
Halloween Gifts Ideas
Halloween gifts are as important as Halloween parties are. Buy the gifts according to the season of Halloween for your host or hostess on the event of the Halloween party. One can buy a gift for himself on Halloween. There are some good ideas for Halloween gifts that can be presented on Halloween discussed here.
Skeleton Doll: Skeleton dolls truly represent the feeling of Halloween. If someone has a child who loves to have gifts on Halloween, a skeleton doll is not a bad idea. This is easily transportable, soft, cuddly, and terrifying as well. Nothing can be perfect more than this gift for a toy lover.
Halloween Masks: Halloween masks are one of the best gifts on the occasion of Halloween. If you have a friend who likes to dress up in a costume on Halloween, then this is the best choice of gift for him or her.
Classic Horror Movies: Halloween is the event that describes scariness and fear. To watch classic horror movies on Halloween means enjoying the day according to its spirit. Nobody should try to find old movies showing Halloween bodies but try to find gore movies or something like that for youngsters.
Candy Corn Earrings: If you have a friend who likes to wear costumes on Halloween, then this is the best idea gift of candy corn earrings. It would help your friend to get dressed up according to season and will also help to use it in daily life.
Funny Wine Bottle Holder: A bottle of wine can be presented to your host as a gift on Halloween. A bottle may have scary pictures related to Halloween. This bottle of wine can be placed as a decorator and can be used as well.
Halloween Pajamas: Halloween pajamas can be presented as a gift to your host. This will help you to use it in a Halloween costume.
Bat Jewelry: This is a gift that can be used both by adults and children. This is a very good gift for females and can be used on Halloween.
The Halloween holiday is not generally related to food recipes but food items and meals are associated with Halloween parties. Halloween appears from the dishes cooked on 31st October night because the foods are embellished with different scary shapes. There are some recipes cooked generally on the event of Halloween.
Cranberry Cat Kisses: These cookies are made in a very creative way. White cookies are turned into black cats by spreading the black chocolate all over the cookies and certain types of sprinkles for the face. Frogs can be made instead of black cats in this recipe by using white chocolate and spreading it on the cookies. A drop of the mint extract can be added to make it more attractive.
Finnish Chestnut Fingers: In this recipe, a slice of almond is placed at the end of each cooky to make it the witch’s finger. If someone wants to have something spookier, embed the sliced almond at the end of every cooky and bake it.
Then dip each cooky in white chocolate tinted with red and black to make it like blood. Cornmeal and Cherry Thumbprint Cookies: This is a very easy recipe to cook. Red jam is used to show fake blood and it adds taste as well. Make these cookies and ice them with red jel to make bloody eyeballs. Milk chocolate and raspberry jam can also be used to make this recipe.
Frank Muffins: This is also a very famous recipe for Halloween. Bananas are the main component of this recipe. These bananas must be tinted green with the help of spinach but kids should not be known. The children should be told that witch turned them green. Black and purple frosting can be used to complete the recipe experience.