Halloween is a holiday with a long history and can have different meanings for different people. The name Halloween is a shorter version of All Hallows' Eve or the night before All Saints Day. It can be thought of as a celebration of the night before All Saints Day.
When is Halloween celebrated?
Who celebrates this day?
People around the world celebrate this day. It is sometimes thought of as more of kid's holiday, but many adults enjoy it as well.
What do people do to celebrate?
The main tradition of Halloween is to dress up in a costume. People dress up in all sorts of costumes. Some people like scary costumes such as ghosts, witches, or skeletons, but a lot of people dress up in fun costumes like superheroes, movie stars, or cartoon characters.
Children celebrate the day by going trick-or-treating at night. They go from door to door saying "Trick or treat". The person at the door usually gives them some candy.
Other Halloween activities include costume parties, parades, bonfires, haunted houses, and carving jack-o-lanterns from pumpkins.
History of Halloween
Halloween is said to have its roots in an ancient Celtic celebration in Ireland and Scotland called Samhain. Samhain marked the end of summer. People at the time were frightened of evil spirits. They would dress up in costumes and make noise in the streets in order to make the spirits go away.
When the Catholic Church came to the Celtic land, it brought with it the celebration of All Saints Day on November 1st. This day was also called All Hallows Day and the night before was called All Hallows Eve. Many of the traditions from the two holidays became merged together. Over time, All Hollows Eve was shortened to Halloween and additional traditions like trick-or-treating and carving Jack-o-lanterns became a part of the holiday.
Fun Facts About Halloween
- The traditional colors of Halloween are black and orange. Orange comes from the fall harvest and black represents death.
- Harry Houdini, a famous magician, died on Halloween night in 1926.
- Around 40% of Americans dress up in a costume on Halloween. Around 72% hand out candy.
- Snickers chocolate bars are considered to be the number one favorite Halloween candy.
- It is considered to be the 2nd most successful commercial holiday in the United States after Christmas.
- Around 40% of adults sneak candy from their own candy bowl.
- Originally Jack-o-lanterns were carved from turnips and potatoes.
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