Halloween, also the time of the Celtic New Year has many practices and traditions culminated from different cultures over the years. Just as America has become a melting pot of people, so too has Halloween. The holiday has become a mixture of different cultures’ various customs.
Many of the pagan aspects of Halloween have been phased out over the years due the spread of Christianity. However, some pieces of those rituals still remain. The wearing of masks initially began as a way to scare away any bad spirits that rose after the end of the harvest and celebration of Samhain.
The themes of orange and black represent the harvest and death. Many believe that Halloween is the time of year that the veil between the living and the dead is at it’s thinnest. This is how trick or treating originated, the poor would travel to the homes of the rich asking for food and drink in exchange for praying for the dead.
Jack o’ lanterns started out to keep ghosts away, they were usually turnips hollowed out and filled with food or candy. Pumpkins became the norm in north America due to their ease of availability.
The most widely celebrated aspect of Halloween in America today is really embracing the opportunity to express your creativity, and become someone else for a day, so stay safe, enjoy yourself, and have an adventure!
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