Halloween fun time, haunted time, scary time, mystery time, costume time, Halloween party time, trick and treat time, horror film watching time, jack o’ lantern time, cutting faces in pumpkin time. Perhaps you can relate to one, some or even all of these events, but whatever your own personal thoughts are regarding Halloween, it has become an entrenched part of our western culture.
The word Halloween is of Christian origin being an abbreviation of the term Eve of All Hallows or Hallows Eve (evening). It is generally accepted by historians that the original celebrations that took place annually at the end of October and beginning of November were Pagan rituals carried out in many places across Western Europe. Evidence of this has been discovered in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and France
The end of the harvest season was celebrated each year and preparations were made for the long dark winter months ahead. It was generally believed that the souls of the departed came back to earth at that time to haunt people. This was the reason for people to disguise themselves so that the spirits would not recognise anyone.
Many of the Halloween traditions we take for granted today, can be traced back to these early times.
Every year, people spend a great deal of time preparing for Halloween which now takes place on the last day of October. It is a time traditionally for the children to have fun dressing up in scary Halloween costumes and masks before calling on neighbors, family and friends with their trick-or-treat routines.
It has become one of the big events of the year where many people now use Halloween decorations and lights for their houses and gardens as well as having a Halloween party. Competitions are held in many places where people can vote on the best haunted house or the house with the scariest theme.
Horror films have also become part of the tradition with the Rocky Horror Show being the “must go to” movie each year. Many of the movie goers dress up as their favorite Rocky Horror star in order to add to the atmosphere of the night.
……….without all the parties that take place. It is a time for losing inhibitions and having a great time. Not only do the children have their school parties and home parties, but adults are increasingly getting in on the fun.
While children like to dress up in the scariest costumes and masks they can get, their parents generally prefer to have more of a fancy dress attitude for themselves. Consequently, many of the adult parties have little in common with the traditional Halloween concept.
When all is said and done, most people now consider Halloween as a time to have fun and everyone who gets into the spirit of the occasion considers the time and effort put into it, to be well worth it.