This is Halloween! A look at famous Halloween traditions

by | Sep 23, 2019 | Spotlight

One of the most popular Halloween traditions over the years has been the fun and flair of dressing up in costumes. Every Halloween, children and adults of all ages don their spookiest costumes to participate in the holiday’s ages-old tradition of trick-or-treating, and the excitement of scouting out a new costume every year is half the fun. Wearing costumes originated with the Celtic tradition of dressing up in various get-ups to scare away ghosts and other malevolent spirits, and has since evolved into a yearly custom highlight of Halloween all throughout the western hemisphere.

A fun and festive way to get together n every Halloween is the ritual of creating your very own jack-o-lantern. A jack-o-lantern is a pumpkin (or other vegetable) carved out with a specific outline, usually in the form of a spooky face or other silly design, which is then lit up with a candle inside and placed outside or throughout the house. Jack-o-lanterns, also known as will-o-the-wisps, date back as early as the 1660’s, having originated from the concept of a night watchman, someone who would watch over a property or estate and ward off frightening spirits or ghosts every hallows eve.

Bobbing for Apples
A popular game at Halloween parties and other holiday festivities is the fun of bobbing for apples. Rooted in ancient divination rituals, bobbing for apples is said to have emerged as a way of finding out your true love’s name, with the peel of your chosen apple spelling out the initial letter of their first name. Though the origins of the game are more closely tied to ideas of love and romance rather than the traditional tricks and treats of Halloween, bobbing for apples is a time-honored autumnal event that’s entertaining for children and adults alike.

The most popular tradition associated with Halloween is that of trick-or-treating, in which children and adults put on their best costumes and scour neighborhoods in search of sweets and other treats. The practice of trick-or-treating has been a tradition in North America since the 1910’s, having been originally practiced in Britain and Ireland centuries ago. The phrase “trick-or-treat” stems from the idea that kids and other participants would partake in mischief of some sort if they didn’t receive their treats. Nowadays, trick-or-treaters can venture outside of their local neighborhoods and hunt for treats at nearby businesses or malls, expanding the fun of this time-honored ritual.

Halloween Firepits
Participating in the lighting of fires has become a popular pastime and celebratory event year-round, but on Halloween, they hold a special significance. The original purpose of lighting fires on Halloween dates back to an ancient festival in which the fire signified the end of summer and the beginning of the dark season, marked by the term “bonfire”, a combination of the words “bone” and “fire”. Modern-day fire pits act as both a symbol of festivities and a celebration of Halloween, with fire pits a staple at many parties and events throughout neighborhoods and the great outdoors.

Horror Movies
Psycho, Halloweentown, Silence of the Lambs, and The Shining are just a few popular horror movies commonly enjoyed on the spookiest night of the year. Watching horror films with friends and family has become one of the most customary Halloween traditions of all time, alongside trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes. For those of you who opt to choose a night in rather than joining the masses in search of sweets, horror movies fulfill your desire for a fright-filled night, ensuring that you still get your dose of ghosts, ghouls, and terror for the evening.