ALL HALLOWS EVE – A BRIEF HISTORY
25 October 2023
On October 31, many people celebrate Halloween. The holiday is popular worldwide, especially for monsters who finally get a chance to be themselves.
Halloween or All Hallows Eve, as it is sometimes referred to, is a global celebration and it is a lot different now than it may have been celebrated many centuries ago. While Halloween originated in Europe, the holiday became the celebration we recognize today when it was brought to American by the early settlers.
According to Peter Tokofsky, an assistant professor in the department of folklore and mythology in UCLA states, “The earliest trace of Halloween is the Celtic Festival, Samhain, which was the Celtic New Year. It was the day of the dead, and they believed the souls of the deceased would be available. The basic idea of this holiday is to pay homage to the dead and to blur the lines between the living and the dead. Traditionally, a bonfire would be lit, sweets would be prepared, and costumes would be worn to ward off evil spirits as the ancient Celts believed that. At this time of year, the veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest.
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
In 1820, Washington Iriving’s short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, became one of the first distinctly American ghost stories centered around the holiday. Halloween received its biggest transformation withing the last 50 + years, thanks to the creation of the big candy corporations and of course, Hollywood.
Because of its association with all things dark, spooky, and undead, Halloween became the go-to holiday for the release of most horror films and television shows. Director Joh Carpenter’s Halloween (1078) is probably the best example, as it changed the public image of the holiday.
The mascot, or the symbol of Halloween is the Jack-O-Lantern, which is a carved pumpkin with a candle or a light inside. These pumpkins are then displayed in windows, or on your front steps/porch to show the Halloween spirit. It’s best to discard or throw away your pumpkins in early November, as the do start to smell around Nov. 3rd.
TRICK OR TREATING
For kids, the ultimate Halloween activity is “Trick or Treating”. Kids wearing costumes will walk around town, ring doorbells and shout “trick or treat”, meaning, either give me candy or a “trick”. ((SPOILER ALERT: Kids today just want candy. No tricks – kids are now running the show)).
Every year, On October 31st, cities, and towns all over the world celebrate with festivals, parades, and theme park events. Mo matter how Halloween is celebrated, or which aspects of the holiday are celebrated, it has become a global phenomenon comparable to Christmas in terms of how widespread and important it is the public conscience.
We love celebrating Halloween. From Trick-or-Treating with neighbors, to getting into the spirit of decorating, and sharing a sweet treat or two with other ghouls and goblins, it is one of the most neighborly holidays of them all.
On behalf of the SIC Team, we wish you a sweet, safe, and spooky Halloween!
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