A big BOO to you


Photo by Matheus Bertelli: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-with-halloween-pumpkin-in-park-5477427/

Written by Minahil Hamdani, Features Editor

It’s that time of year again, the start of the spooky season. That time of year when you decorate your house with spiders and put on costumes. But where did all of these Halloween traditions come from? Why is October 31st the most terrifying day of the year? It is unclear when things began, although it is widely assumed that Halloween began around 2,000 years ago.The Celts were people who resided in what is now Britain, Ireland, and parts of France. Their new year began around November 1st, and they would celebrate the night before with a feast called Samhain. For the Celtic people, Samhain was a harvest festival and the start of winter. It was also supposed to be a time when ghosts would appear. On Samhain, the Celts wore masks, lit bonfires, and left food for ghosts.


Pumpkins with eerie faces and candles are unmistakable signs of the Halloween season. According to Irish legend, a man named Stingy Jack made a few bad agreements with the devil. He was not welcomed into either heaven or hell when his existence came to an end. His spirit was imprisoned on Earth for all time, with only a burning coal to guide him. To transport the coal, he stuffed it into a turnip and has been traveling the world ever since. To frighten away Stingy Jack and other roaming evil spirits, people in Ireland and Scotland began carving horrific faces onto turnips or potatoes and placing them in windows or near doorways. Carving a jack-o-lantern for Halloween spread to North America over time.


Trick or treating is unquestionably the best part of Halloween. Not only is the experience unforgettable, but arriving home with a bag full of free candy is the cherry on top. Trick or treating may appear to be a modern tradition, yet it may be traced back to the 9th century in Celtic Britain and Ireland. Trick or treating is thought to have evolved from a tradition in which people costumed as ghosts and demons performed dances around a bonfire and received treats to appease the evil spirits. People would also leave food out for any spirits that might come out that night. Centuries later, on All Hallows Eve, individuals would distribute sugary pastries. By the 1800s, children in England started dressing up in costumes. They’d also sing and dance for candy and cents. When Halloween first became popular in North America in the early 1900s, children were not required to perform. However, mentioning “trick or treat” reminded people to hand out candy. Otherwise, expect a trick to be played on them!


Looking back on the bizarre history of Halloween and the bizarre traditions that surround this frightening holiday, how is Halloween celebrated in America today? Most people associate Halloween with dressing up in costumes and decorating their homes to get into the Halloween spirit. Some children walk door-to-door in their areas to trick or treat in order to obtain some of that free candy. Many people enjoy Halloween parties and have a good time for the night. Parties and parades, such as the iconic New York Halloween Parade, now allow horror fans of all ages to temporarily turn themselves into the monsters of their nightmares. Many individuals enjoy visiting haunted houses in order to receive a good scare. Whatever way you celebrate this occasion, you may always have fun scaring yourself for the night. Prepare to witness the most horrific night of the year once more!