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Friday, October 31, 2008

Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?

Halloween, sometimes called All Hollows Eve, Night of the Dead, and other creepy names. But why do we really celebrate Halloween? Why, did we start Halloween? Some cultures do you use Halloween, as a celebration of the dark side. For the most part Halloween is a fun celebration, to dress up and be someone else for a night.

Halloween started many years ago, in other countries. These other countries celebrated the end of Summer, and the season of the Sun. They prepared for season of cold, and long nights. October 31st was the day they chose to hold their festival, sometimes referred to as the Fall Festival, or Harvest.

When settlers came to America, they brought their holiday customs with them. Many of the settlers came from different countries. Of course all the customs have been joined and we have our own Halloween celebration. The most important symbol of Halloween is the Pumpkin.

The early settlers used to cut out other fruits and vegetables, and decorate them. The people of Ireland cut out and decorated Turnips. They hollowed out the Turnip, and put a candle on the inside. When the Irish came to America they used big, round, orange Pumpkins, and now we have our famous Jack-O-Lantern.

Years ago, in other countries, the poor would beg for food. They were called soulers, and people would give them soul cakes. The beggers would then promise that would remember the dead.

Here, today in America children dress in silly, funny, and scary costumes and go Trick Or Treating. The receive candy, and small trinkets in their basket or pumpkin of choice.

Halloween has become a huge profit maker for American businesses, and according to early polls people have spent more money on Halloween this year, than any other year. Some companies base their whole company on Halloween, and are actually closed the rest of the year. You can find almost any costume imaginable, now today. From celebrities, to super heros, prncesses, politicians, what ever you could think of. It has become one night of fun, a night to get away from the stress of the real world, and live in a fantasy. To be someone else for one night, isn't that something everyone wants?

Please remember your Halloween safety rules:

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult
Wear a light on your suit, or carry a flash light
Walk on walkways, not the street if possible
Go slow, kids run out in the street without thinking
Never eat any candy, before it has been thoroughly inspected by an adult
Have fun, isnt that the most important one





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6 comments:

betchai said...

your kids are cute, and the little girl again gives her very bright smile. i hope they enjoy their trick or treat tonight.

in the philippines, we do not celebrate halloween, but then, i think these days, they kind of follow america too ( i don't know if you would believe it is like a status symbol if they do what americans do) and have pumpkins carved and halloween decorations in their backyard, but again, only the rich do this. instead, we celebrate the all souls day and all saints day, nov 1st. not only the poor would go house to house to ask for food (rice cakes), but usually it is like a group of kids also who would want to have fun on this day. We usually cook different kinds of foods made from sticky rice :) and that's what we give to the "soulers" some do dress in all black too, so, kind of similar to trick or treating probably, only that no candies, but rice cakes. and then, of course, we remember our dead by going to the cemetery and saying prayers.

Melissa said...

Very interesting, thank you for sharing that with me. I do work with a gentleman that is from the Phillipines and he said they hand out money to trick or treaters though I am sure that is not what he called them.

Lou said...

Hi Melissa, thanks for the visit. Betchai is correct, we don't celebrate Halloween in the Phils. like we do here in the US. Nov 1 is a big day in the Phils., people go to the cemeteries to visit their loved ones.

melissa said...

I love to learn about other cultures, thank you so much for sharing.

char said...

this week was also Diwari (festival of light) for Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh in India; the "coming of the Light" is a Christian rite happening in different parts of the world between now and Christmas; when is the Chinese lantern festival, and the one in Japan for ancestors? I think the Czech rite is happening now~ lanterns for souls of those gone. Interesting~ all these lanterns and candles and Light and yet still so much separation of "religions/belief systems"

weird

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing that wonderful information with me. I will be sure to add it to my lesson plan, when we do cultural celebrations.