Halloween or Hallowe’ en, which is a shrinkage term for “All Hallows’ Evening” is a yearly observance that occurs every October 31. It is also known as All Hallow’s Eve and is said to originate among the western Europeans. Halloween is the first day of the Hallowmas which comprises 3 days (Oct 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2). The word “Hallow” is an Old English word for “holy person”. During All Hallow’s Day or All Saint’s Day during November 1, Catholics honor all the saints known and unknown. According to some scholars, All Hallow’s Eve is where we get the practice of Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve that holy days are celebrated from sundown of one day until sundown of the next day.
Ancient Origin of Halloween
Celts before but now are known as people living in Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France considered Halloween as a Celtic festival called Samhain and celebrated their new year on November 1. Samhain is a special type of demon and is believed to have reigned on Earth during Halloween night. So the parents would let the kids wear masks to keep them safe from this demon, carved pumpkins as his worshipers and leave sweets on their doors to keep him calm. He is said to be very powerful that can summon ghosts, spirits and zombies from the deepest pit, but he weaknesses too! First is that he can be fooled by people wearing masks and second is that the ritual to wake him up can be done every 600 years.
As a part of the observance, the Celts would light up holy bonfires so people can gather to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic immortals. Another part of the ritual is when people with their livestock walk in between two holy bonfires as a way of cleansing then bones of slaughtered livestock are thrown into the flame. Also, just like how Halloween is practice today, Celts would wear costumes commonly animal heads and skins and try to prophecy each other’s fortunes.
From Europe, the Irish and Scottish immigrants have influenced the North America during 19th century and other western countries embraced the said holiday. Now, finally in the 20th century Halloween season and traditions have finally reached all throughout the different countries in the world through media commercials like TV, Radio and magazines.
Halloween in the Modern Days
In the old days, Halloween was more of a magical and spirit filled event that kids may be doubtful of joining. Especially when everyone believed that this evening is the opening of the door to the other world, is sounds too frightening for the young ones. But today, it has become an awaited activity where kids can enjoy the most among the neighborhood. Some traditional and modern activities:
Setting up Indoor and Outdoor Halloween decorations
By October, the malls are usually the very first to set up Halloween decorations as a way to promote Halloween items being sold there. Some business establishments and household would also decorate to amaze people and get ready for the yearly event. These decors would not only amaze or scare the kids but even the adults as well.
Creative Halloween Crafts
If you have much time to prepare and creative your own Halloween crafts, that’s very great! These stuffs are very effective to make the place even more scary, spooky and creepy.
Pumpkin Carving Ideas
See some great Pumpkin carving Ideas
Scary Pumpkin Carving
Dressed in scary or funny costumes, this is the most awaited time for the kids where soliciting of goodies is very much acceptable. The concept of this activity is to visit the neighborhood door-to-door so kids can ask for some treats and if the house owner could provide some, the kids can play trick towards the household. Usually, the treats given are usually sweets like candies or mini toys but now in US, for a cause cash can be asked as donations for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund- UNICEF. They just have to bring a small box with UNICEF logo then collected donations will be given to the organization to be able to help with their mission primarily to support the needy kids around the globe.
Parents supervision is advised
When kids go out for trick-or-treating, it is advised that there would be an adult to watch over them with this activity. First reason is to check whether the treats given are safe to eat for young ones or toys are safe for playing. Second reason is to make sure just in case the household own don’t have treats to give, the tricks that kids would do are all fun-filled and not offensive as what is complained in some incidences.
Halloween Costume Party
This season is also a time for gatherings among family, relatives and friends. Since it is a practice to pay honor to the dead during November 1, expect that people would come back to their hometown on or even earlier that October 31. It’s just perfect for a Halloween costume party where everyone around can dress in amazing scary or fun costumes. It is believed that wearing scary costumes would either confuse or calm the real ghosts. As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them!” lol. By the way, I’ve featured my Best Halloween Costumes ideas on my other post. Attending a Halloween Party requires you to be in a Halloween Costume, wear your Halloween Makeup or Halloween Mask and Halloween Contact Lenses too. Don’t worry much because any of these items are available on leading Halloween stores while the makeup ideas are made available with tutorials all over the internet too. See the most popular pages for these needs.
10 Halloween Stores for Costumes and props
Halloween Makeup Ideas, Makeup Kits and special effects from random pages: Items are for sale while tutorials are generously made available. Enjoy!
To make the Halloween party and gatherings more interactive, it’s much better to prepare some season-related games for all ages. Go find your support group and begin on planning for this year’s more delightful Halloween games!
Halloween Decorations, Halloween Costumes, Halloweens crafts and props and Halloween game materials are very much available on famous online shops such as:
It’s usual to see these remarkable pumpkin lanterns that are associated with Halloween. Before, we would only see the usual two-eyed with cluttered mouth but as the event is yearly, many artistic people have come up with very creative and astounding Jack-O-Lantern carvings. For some this activity has even become a competition.
Visiting “haunted houses”
Believing that during Halloween, the door that bounds from the living and the dead is open, some fearless paranormal would try to scout on houses that are said to be haunted. Since to visit a personal property would require permission, some of them would choose to visit evacuated public buildings, ruins, mysterious places where tragic accidents usually happen and even cemeteries.
Bonfire, camping and story telling
Like what is practiced by Celts, some brave group of people may choose to spend Halloween outdoor whether for a bonfire, overnight camping and storytelling. No I won’t dare to stay out!
Watching horror movies or Halloween Films
If you’re not going outdoor for a camping or party but staying at home with the family, Halloween movies and video marathon can be a good idea. Watching supernatural real-life documentaries can just put you into a horrific mood so make sure to choose movies if you have kids around. Anyway, there are lots of kid-friendly Halloween movies available too.
Quija Board or Spirit of the glass among friends
I’ve heard a lot of incidents where participants who tried this have been possessed soon or later after doing the game. Yes, it was actually supposed to be a parlor game but as some time it has been criticized to be a part of demonic witchcraft but still popular these days. The board with letters and numbers has corresponding meanings but the very aim to perform the activity is to contact spirits. Whether the communication between human and spirits is successful through this game, I am not sure of and am not fearless enough to try it myself.
These are moves either to frighten, surprise or shock people. These could be very fun among friends but be very careful especially if you try these Halloween Pranks among people who are hypertensive. You don’t want someone to have a heart attack because of you right? Also be careful because when people are in urgent situation, the instincts are either to running away or to fighting back. You might get hurt you know.
Halloween Dinner and Goodies
Being together and dining with everyone around is a fun way to enjoy the All Hallows Eve. Be creative and encourage the kids to join you in preparing dinner. They’d sure love to help you while thinking it’s just a fun game after all.
Exchange of Halloween Jokes, SMS, Greetings, Quotes and Messages
Making it more interactive by sending Halloween Jokes, SMS, Greetings, Quotes and Messages via email, Facebook, text messages or Halloween Cards and Ecards. It’s a way to encourage family and friends to just enjoy everything about the season. If you plan to create your own Halloween cards, below are some useful Halloween Images or Wallpapers you could use as backgrounds. Below are samples of card formats, with the diy cards, scrapbook inspired and craft ideas too. Be creative for your very own card.
Printable Cards and Halloween Wordings from:
Colors Black, Orange, Purple, Apple Green, Yellow and White
These are the 3 colors that are very much associated with the Halloween. So expect that the decorations are most in these 3 colors.
Creatures and Stuffs associated with Halloween
- Ghosts and Spirits
- Vampires and Dracula
- Spiders & Webs
- Skulls, Bones and Skeletons
- Tombs / Grave Stones
- Black Cats
We all know that the bats, cats and spiders do exist but the rest of the creatures, whether they are for real or not they sure do exist during Halloween costume parties
Halloween activities would vary in every location. Like for me living here in the Philippines, I know some more improved cities would practice the modern activities common in United States like Halloween parties and costumes but here in our city, we choose to stay at home and gather with the family. Who knows there maybe some individuals out there who has some secret rituals done during Halloween right? Since Halloween is expected to be oozing with supernatural magics and power! In my next post I’d write about how Halloween in the Philippines and the common activities or happenings here. Just have a safe and fun-filled Halloween everyone!