Ghosts, goblins and ghouls. Witches, black cats and broomsticks. Princesses, fairies and queens. Vampires, zombies and Elvira. If it exists (and even if it doesn’t) Halloween is a time to dress up in costume as anyone or anything that your creative brain dreams up.
Halloween is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. Halloween begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed believers.
According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain. Other scholars maintain that Halloween originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.
Festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching gory, creepy horror movies.
Halloween Fun Fact: In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although in other locations, these solemn customs are less pronounced in favor of a more commercial and secular celebration.
Trick-or-Treat. How much delightful tasting candy can you eat?
Yum, yum, yum!
The word Halloween dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin. The word Halloween means hallowed evening or holy evening. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). In Scots, the word eve is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, All Hallows’ Eve evolved into Halloween. Interesting!
Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. Jack-o-lanterns are traditionally carried by guisers on All Hallows’ Eve in order to frighten evil spirits. There is a popular Irish Christian folktale associated with the jack-o-lantern, which in folklore, is said to represent a “soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell.”
So carve your pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns that are scary, monstrous, cute, weird or spooky. Whatever is on your mind, your jack-o-lantern is one of a kind!
Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as vampires, monsters, ghosts, skeletons and witches. Over time, in the United States, costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the United States in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating became popular in America.
Have a happy hoot of a Halloween!
Halloween Fun Fact: The yearly New York Halloween Parade begun in 1974 by puppeteer and mask maker Ralph Lee of Greenwich Village, is the world’s largest Halloween parade and one of America’s only major nighttime parades (along with Poland’s Starlight Parade), attracting more than 60,000 costumed participants, two million spectators, and a worldwide television audience of over 100 million! Party down people and join in the Halloween parade pandemonium!
Yummy Delicious Foods Associated with Halloween:
- Candy, Candy and More Candy (Chocolates, candy corn, penny candies, lifesavers)
- Bonfire Toffee
- Candy Apples
- Candy Corn
- Pumpkin Pudding, Pumpkin Pies and Pumpkin Bread
- Caramel Apples
- Caramel Corn
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Roasted Sweet Corn
So dress in your favorite costume, carve downright darling jack-0-lanterns and fill numerous bags with trick-or-treat goodies! Have a grand, ghoul of time!
Halloween Fun Fact: Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses. Some thrill attractions include haunted houses, corn mazes, hayrides, and amusement park makeovers such as Knott’s Berry Farm’s Knott’s Scary Farm, along with Disneyland and Universal Studios haunted theme parks.
Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimated $300-$500 million each year. This maturing and growth within the industry has led to technically more advanced special effects and costuming, comparable with that of Hollywood films.
The telling of ghost stories and viewing of horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of television series and Halloween themed specials are commonly aired on or before Halloween, while new horror films are often released theatrically before Halloween to take advantage of the spooky, monster charged atmosphere.
Don’t get too scared!
Have a sweet treat Halloween and share some delicious candy with every costumed creature that you meet!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! IT’S A SCREAM!
Watch for Nancy’s next book in her award winning murder mystery series, Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel, coming to bookstores in early 2017!
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mangano/362187023895846