How do you celebrate your Halloween? We all have our unique customs that go along with this almost universal tradition but where did they come from and how do they differ across each region?
Well, according to the History Channel the origin of Halloween actually came from a Celtic festival of Samhain, a time when people would dress up in costume and start bonfires as a method of warding off any ghosts or spirits.
The Celts actually followed November 1st as New Years Day because this day marked the end of summer and the beginning of a cold winter, also symbolic in Celtic culture of a blurred line between the living and dead.
Following this tradition, way back during the 8th century, Pope Gregory III was the first person to designate a specific day to honor all saints and martyrs, which was November 1st. After this point, the evening before became known to society as All Hallows’ Eve aka Halloween.
As we may already know, each country and community celebrates Halloween in their own style. For example, citizens in Mexico celebrate Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos, in a religious context on Nov. 1st and 2nd by creating alters for their deceased loved ones and decorating them with sugar skulls, favorite foods and marigolds.
On the other hand, citizens in the United States take a more secular approach to Halloween by dressing up in different costumes that can relate to Halloween such as, witches, pumpkins, ghosts but don’t have to be as many take this time to dress as different occupations like firemen, policemen, cartoons, actors.
Another common tradition that many of us have done or love to do for Halloween is trick-or-treating, meaning going door-to-door to neighbors and small businesses for candy while in costume. I feel this concept is very unique to American culture as most countries take on a much more religious approach.
Nonetheless, we all have our unique customs and twists on Halloween but the important thing is that we celebrate this very special holiday with friends, family, and loved ones. I am surely excited for the upcoming holiday in just a couple more weeks. So, what are you planning to do for Halloween?