There are many festivals that are celebrated all across the world. One such festivity that is very common is Halloween. It is a celebration that people of all ages enjoy across the world. Halloween was more common in the western countries but for the last few years its making its presence felt in other regions such as India too. India being a country that has always welcomed new cultures celebrating Halloween is no surprise. We will in this article discuss some interesting aspects of Halloween.
Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated every year on 31st October. In another two days it will be time to celebrate Halloween this year (at time of writing this). You will often see that small kids are dressed in scary clothes and they go about collecting candies on this day. It is a common festival among the Christians across the world. It is also known as Hallow’s eve or all saints eve.
It is the day when the dead are remembered. Some say that it is a day when we make fun of death. On this day it is believed that the spirits are let loose that is why humans also dress as evil spirits so that the ghosts cannot recognise them as humans. If the spirits feel that you are also a spirit they will not attack you. That is the whole idea.
Pumpkins & Halloween
Pumpkins are commonly associated with the celebration of Halloween. The pumpkins are carved with eyes and mouth. Some people also fit light inside these pumpkins so that they look more real. These pumpkins are placed at the entrance of the main door. This is mainly done to ensure that the pumpkin keeps the evil spirits out of the house.
Some say that in Europe originally Turnips were used for this purpose. However, as Pumpkin is easier to carve it has replaced the Turnips all across Europe now. This was a part of the traditional celebrations. It also included going to the church and lighting candles. Masses are generally held in Halloween in all the churches.
The Christians would then visit the graves of the dead and offer prayers to them. Some Christians also would fast and stay away from meat on Halloween. However, most of these traditions are not followed now. They have been replaced with new customs and traditions that we will be discussing now.
Commercialization of Halloween
Halloween today has been commercialised to a great extent. Many malls, restaurants, retailers, pubs, etc try to make the most of this day. Youngsters like to party on this day till late hours. Haunted houses are popular destination on this day for visits. Many horror movies are released particularly on Halloween to capitalise on the occasion. Bonfires are lighted across the cities.
People party like crazy dressed in scary outfits. Costume and theme parties are a common part of the Halloween celebrations. A large number of Halloween parties are arranged in pubs and other popular hangouts. Some also find this a good occasion to play prank on others. Gone are the days when people would just wear a simple mask on Halloween.
Youngsters are paying a bomb to dress for the Halloween theme party. They hire dresses that are a copy of popular movie characters and head to the parties. Dressing like Dracula and Frankenstein is very common. Some people also dress like mummy. Both girls and boys willingly dress up on this occasion as zombies. Many corporate also have special Halloween parties designed for the employees.
Decorations et al
Apart from pumpkins people now days have taken the Halloween decoration to the next level. They make dolls of witches, skeletons, cobwebs and decorate their backyard as well as the public places. When you step into a mall you can see Halloween decorations that will seriously surprise you. Many retailers spend huge sum of money on these decorations. You will also find a lot of shops that sell goodies that you can use for decoration in Halloween.
Lights are commonly used to light the backyards and the houses on Halloween so that it gets a creepy feel. Some shops also sell accessories that you can use in order to dress up for the Halloween party. You can find witch caps, brooms, long black scarf, artificial long nails and dentures. You can also use loud makeup to look pale. Some costume parties will also have awards for the best dressed man and woman of the evening.
Food on Halloween
How can be complete an article on Halloween without the mention of the food that you must have on this day. Traditionally delicacies were prepared on this day. In the olden days people would ensure that non veg food items are not included on this day. However, today no such rules are followed. In the olden days candies were not common instead apple candies were made at home and they were given to the kids who were visiting the houses.
After that baked items like cakes and cookies became more common in Europe. Today the kids can expect anything from candies to pastries but most of them are bought and not homemade anymore. Candies today can be shaped in the form of skulls, bats, worms and even pumpkins.
Moving on to the food items that are commonly associated with Halloween are caramel apples (to make these a stick is attached to the apple and then it is dipped into caramel it is then coated with nuts, caramel corns (these are nothing but pop corns that are coated with caramel), Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, soul cakes (are special cakes made on this day to remember the dead), roasted seeds of pumpkin, roasted sweet corn and the list just goes on.
Another common delicacy is Barmbrack, it is bread that is filled with raisins and sultanas this is common in Ireland. These food items are prepared and had with family and friends in the evening.
We hope that this article on why do we celebrate Halloween will help you to understand the importance and the significance of the festival a little more. We wish all our readers across the world a very happy Halloween!