Halloween: the holiday where as kids we couldn’t wait to go door to door to achieve the golden goal of a full bag of candy. Halloween soon turns into a question mark for teens; in an instant, there is a change of when it is ‘appropriate’ to go trick-or-treating and when you should just move on. Are you the one who thinks Trick-or-treating is lame or the one who still walks around your neighborhood every year -- no matter how many dirty looks you may get. What teenagers decide to do on Halloween varies: going to a party, passing out candy, staying home are a few popular options. Throughout my highschool experience I have been able to witness and experience all different types of halloteens, each with their own traits.
Halloween is an appreciation of the afterlife and the survival after death. Literal meaning is the night before All Hallows' Day (aka All Saints' Day). Day of the Dead is the remembrance and celebration of friends and family who are dead.
The catholic, mexican holiday, Day of the Dead and the very westernized holiday Halloween may seem very alike with their traditions and themes, but in retrospect, they are very different and have very different origins. Halloween and Day of the Dead happen at the same time, end of October and beginning of November. The background of these two holidays are very spiritual and they have an interesting story of how the Halloween and day of the dead was created. In this essay, I will be talking about the how Halloween and Day of the Dead are celebrated , the origins of Day of the Dead and Halloween, and decorations and celebrations of Day of the Dead and Halloween. Both Day of the Dead and Halloween deal with spooky traditions but they are very different than the stereotypical thought that they are just weird, scary holidays but after reading some background to these two holidays, many people realize there is a lot more to Halloween and Day of the Dead.
The catholic holiday, Day of the Dead and the holiday Halloween may seem very alike with their traditions and themes, but, they are very different and have very different origins. Halloween and Day of the Dead happen at the same time, end of October and beginning of November. The background of these two holidays are very spiritual and they have an interesting story of how the Halloween and day of the dead was created. In this essay, I will be talking about the how Halloween and Day of the Dead are celebrated , the origins of Day of the Dead and Halloween, and decorations and celebrations of Day of the Dead and Halloween. Both Day of the Dead and Halloween deal with spooky traditions but they are very different than the stereotypical thought that they are just weird, scary holidays but after reading some background to these two holidays, many people realize there is a lot more to Halloween and Day of the Dead.
La dia de los Muertos dates back to as early as the maya and aztec days, nearly 3,000 years ago. “The Aztecs didn’t fear death. They believed the way a person died determines their type of afterlife.” (Sarah Massey) Families place alters in their homes with favorite foods of the deceased people, sugar skulls with their name on it, special possessions of the loved ones, and Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead). On the altar are four special elements, water, wind, fire, and earth. Candles represent fire, food represents the earth. Halloween dates back to the celt days, about 2,000 years ago. They lived in what now is known as Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. They gathered on October 31st to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The celts believed that spirits roamed the earth on this night. Celts out food out for the spirits, this was the first form of trick or treating. Some dressed up as the dead to scare away the spirits. They carved turnips and put candles in them to make lanterns. This tradition continued when the immigrants came to America, but pumpkins were easier to find so they carved pumpkins. They swapped scary stories and had a big feast. Roman Catholics began to celebrate All Hallows’ day on November 1st, October 31st became All Hallows’ Eve, later shortened to
C. Thesis Statement: Going from what the meaning of Halloween is in America today and looking back at it’s roots, it has evolved dramatically. And just recently we have been seeing a comeback from one of those roots, but do we know it’s real cultural significance?
Halloween was brought to America after the Irish fled from their hometowns during a famine.
Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated on the 31st of October across the globe. The holiday originated ancient Celtic. Celts lived 2000 years ago in the areas which are now Ireland, Northern France, and the United Kingdom. They had a similar celebration called Samhain. Samhain was celebrated on the 1st of November rather than the 31st of October. Throughout the centuries Halloween traditions have changed drastically. To see what a difference Halloween is now to back in time we must examine what traditions and celebrations were done, secondly how we celebrate the famously known holiday and finally what people have against the celebrations and traditions to this day.
Halloween has gone through many changes since it first began. Once, Halloween was a grave time and considered a foreboding sign of the coming of winter. However, over the centuries Halloween has been modernized into a fun and festive time of year for many people, especially for Americans. People of all ages are all able to contribute to Halloween. Millions of Americans spend massive amounts of money every year on Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy.
In the contemporary period, Halloween’s popularity has increased. Personal expenditures on Halloween have drastically increased since the 2000s, to create a multi-billion dollar industry, which has expanded the cultural awareness and practice of Halloween (Khapaeva 57). However, this expansion has led to the commodification of Halloween, by equating it with consumer culture. This has significant implications for the cultural conception of death as it equate previously potent symbols with cheap goods. But this might have been by design, as Grider argues that the mass commercialization of Halloween is another way in which collectively western culture can control the “potentially dangerous incursion of the supernatural world in our everyday lives” (10). Through the ownership of material goods associated with Halloween, the narrative and context of the concepts are further
Borrowing from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money. Over time this tradition turned in to today modern “trick or treating”. In the late 1800s, America turned Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, and witchcraft. As the centuries changed Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century (Kammen).
Furthermore, there are many traditional rituals and superstitions associated with Halloween. Since the ancient Celts thought the nonliving roamed the earth, they created costumes out of animal pelts to ward off evil spirits. Fortunetelling and the utilization of large bonfires for sacrifices and purification were also early customs. After the Christianization of the holiday to commemorate saints and martyrs, the same festivities, bonfires, and guising remained, but October 31st was renamed All-Hallows Eve. This inevitably turned into Halloween. Similar to European traditions, America’s Halloween has also evolved throughout the years. Halloween’s recognition was originally restricted in colonial America due to its non-Christian beliefs and practices, and it was practiced at a more local level. According to an online source, “The first celebrations included ‘play parties,’ public events held to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors would share stories of the dead and tell each other’s fortunes, dance, and sing” (“History of Halloween”). Festivities were akin to European traditions, but also included ghost stories and pranking. Beginning in the twentieth century, Halloween