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Modern Halloween Traditions Not Just for Kids

Published by Joanie Cosimini

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Halloween is commonly celebrated in several countries of the Western world that include Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and sometimes in parts of Australia. Halloween is often celebrated by millions of people by putting on costumes and traveling door to door to receive candy. Although Halloween is one of the oldest holidays still celebrated today, each year it is modernized by new costumes and various decorations. According to recent retail surveys, Halloween is gaining speed and catching up with Christmas in regard to popularity and consumer spending.

Despite its reputation, Halloween is often celebrated without any reference to pagan rituals or sacrilegious acts. Today, a carved pumpkin is probably the most famous icon of the holiday. However, dressing up in various costumes is also an illustrious tradition. Other than traditional horror, costumes are also based on themes. Such themes include characters from hit television shows, pop culture icons, and movie characters.

Most people view Halloween as a fun holiday for putting on such costumes, trick-or-treating, and having parties. Telling ghost stories or watching horror films are often significant fixtures of Halloween parties. Because of themed parties, Halloween is a major celebration on many college campuses. Generally, the parties include traditional games like bobbing for apples, searching for candy, haunted hayrides, and various treats. Some parties even include sleepovers. In the adult world, Halloween costume parties are an opportunity for people to socialize.

For kids, trick-or-treating is probably the main tradition of Halloween. Trick-or-treating is reminiscent of the late medieval practice of “souling,” which was when poor people would go door to door receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day. While the majority of trick-or-treaters are young children, trick-or-treating is a tradition that is a fun and exciting for any age. Unfortunately, tricks that include vandalism such as soaping windows, stringing toilet paper through trees, or egging a house take place on Halloween as well.

In addition to trick-or-treating, the carving of a pumpkin is also a great tradition to enjoy. Pumpkins are now the choice object to carve faces into in preparation for Halloween. The carved pumpkin was not always associated with Halloween though; instead it was linked with harvest time in general America. Many families celebrate Halloween by carving scary or funny faces and placing the pumpkin on their doorstep with a candle inside. This tradition is probably one of Halloween’s most prominent symbols. The most popular decorations for Halloween include these carved pumpkins, as well as scarecrows, inflatable decorations, plastic spiders, and witches. Usually, Halloween decorations feature imagery relative to the supernatural.

Although Halloween is generally looked down upon by Muslims and Jews, moderate believers of both religions sometimes participate in elements of the Halloween holiday. For many people, Halloween is what you make of it. It is time for fun, socializing, and a little candy. It gives you a chance and freedom to wear the most unusual costumes you can find or create. No wonder it is growing in popularity.





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