It’s that time of year again- when you break out your favourite fall recipes, decorate the house in autumn colors, light the candles that fill the room with the scents of apple and cinnamon, and finally start looking up costume ideas for this year’s Halloween. Ah yes, Halloween. The holiday that every child looks forward to this month. The holiday that allows them to stay up extra late and get bags of candy one day out of the year-so how could you blame them! Halloween has Celtic roots and Christian ties that originated in Western Europe. It wasn’t until the 19th century when Irish and Scottish immigrants flocked to the United States that the holiday was introduced to America. The act of guising came over with the Irish and Scottish as well – many of you know guising more commonly as trick-or-treating. This holiday is celebrated widely in the United States today. If it was not for the religious ties to “All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day” halloween would not have the same meaning. These three days brought Halloween to where it is today.
Weeks before Halloween, families in the United States start decorating their homes (and yards) with Halloween related icons; such as, cobwebs, creepy photos, pumpkins, skeletons, blood, coffins, witches, etc. They will take their children to pumpkin patches, to pick out their favorite ones, take them home and carve them into creepy faces. More activities include; hayrides, haunted houses, and corn mazes. Once you have built up the excitement enough, Halloween finally arrives. All day you go “bobbing for apples,” make candy/caramel apples, telling scary stories, and making sure your costume is in order for the evening.
If you are older, you may attend a Halloween party of some sort. Or if you are brave enough, you will go trick-or-treating with your friends and hope that you won’t get the door shut on your face.
But for the rest of the younger generation, you go with your parents door-to-door knocking and saying “trick-or-treat,” with a big smile on your face in the hopes that they give you handfuls of candy. This is the tradition in the United States, and every year, more activities get added to the list. More haunted hayrides, haunted houses, haunted corn mazes show up in your area. The main attraction? To be scared! Why would you want to be scared? Good question. The excitement you receive when you are running away from that man with the Jason mask holding a chainsaw is exhilarating and exciting; a great adrenalin rush and this this feeling keeps you coming back for more, this is why Americans keep this holiday alive. Terrifying fun!