Trick Or Treat: The Origin And Celebration Of Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner. Are you and your family ready for the flock of trick or treaters? A lot of people like to celebrate Halloween because there is a lot of candy involved and you get to dress up like anything or anyone you want. Some people go all out and create “haunted houses” for people’s enjoyment, which is considered the “trick”. Others like to use Halloween as an excuse to have family and friends over and throw a costume party. So how did all this get started? Why do people celebrate something that has monsters and represents death?

Halloween’s origin dates back to the ancient Celts, who lived about two thousand years ago in what is now known as Ireland, The United Kingdom, and France. The Celts celebrated their new year on November first. This was the mark of the end of summer and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, which was associated with death. They believed that on the night before November first the boundaries of the realms of the living and the dead became blurred. This day, October thirty first was celebrated and called Samhain. They believed that the spirits of the dead came back to earth to cause trouble and damage crops. Druids built great sacred bonfires and sacrificed crops and animals to the Celtic deities for protection. Celtics wore costumes made out of animal’s head and skin and attempted to read each others’ fortune.

Two thousand years later, people are still celebrating Halloween. It is a little different depending where you come from. For the United States, boys and girls of all ages get dressed up, grab the biggest bag they can find, and go door to door around their neighborhood asking for candies. This is referred as “trick-or-treating”. This is when a kid goes and knocks at the door and says “trick or treat” and the resident either gives them candy, which is the “treat”, or has something surprising or scary awaiting, which is the “trick”.

Now kids do not just go on their own from house to house. Since this event usually takes effect in the evening, usually at sunset, it is important that there is an adult present to escort the trick-or-treaters. A good tip on Halloween safety is to wear costumes made of flame-retardant materials. Make sure to check the labels before buying because for some reason, some people like to use real fire on their props.

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