HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS Celebrated for Hundreds of Years
well. The costumes were made out of some sheets if I remember right, but, nevertheless, the two of them had a blast. While Brenna and Claire are a little too old to go trick-or-treating now, I still remember how much fun we had when they were younger. My wife and I would always make sure that we’d set out to fill their pillowcases with candy. Today, I don’t go out for Halloween, but I enjoy handing out candy and seeing all the fantastic costumes that come to the door. Along with these annual traditions, my wife and I always made sure to take the kids to other fall activities when they were younger. Based on my childhood experience, pumpkin patches, hayrides, and haunted houses are much more popular today. I never really went to a pumpkin patch when I was a kid, but I always made the time to take Brenna and Claire. We’d pick out a few pumpkins and take them back home to turn them into jack-o’-lanterns and set them outside. One year, we decided to go to a haunted house as a family. There was one in town that we’d known about for a while but had never actually been to before. We were all a little apprehensive about it, but the four of us were determined. When we finally got there ... well ... it was almost too good of a haunted house. It scared us pretty bad! They had everything you could imagine a haunted house would have: flickering lights, creepy costumes, and unsettling sounds. I haven’t gone to a haunted house since, but both the kids have gone to some others every year, and they seem to have a good experience with every visit. I think it’s kind of cool that the traditions my family and so many others have enjoyed so much belong to the ancient origins of Halloween. If you have some family traditions you’re looking forward to this time of year, I hope you enjoy them to the fullest in celebrating All Hallows’ Eve. -Dr. Steven Schulte
My family has always been pretty traditional when it comes to celebrating Halloween. My wife and I would take our kids, Brenna and Claire, out trick-or-treating, and we’d carve pumpkins, catch some hayrides, dress up, and, on occasion, go to a haunted house. These types of annual traditions have been celebrated for 2,000 years, dating back to the ancient Celts in Ireland. The Celts celebrated a holiday called Samhain (pronounced sow– in) that eventually became All Saints’ Day or All Hallows’ Eve, observed on Oct. 31. They believed that spirits from the afterlife would walk with the living on this day. To protect themselves, the Celts left out food and wine on their doorsteps and wore masks or costumes to disguise themselves as spirits. Many of the Halloween traditions we participate in today, including dressing up, didn’t actually become popular until the 19th and 20th centuries. It wasn’t until the Irish came over to America to escape the Irish Potato Famine and brought with them their culture of celebrating All Hallows’ Eve that the holiday became popular. Trick-or-treating didn’t turn into the family-friendly event everyone enjoys until about the 1950s.
“I THINK IT’S KIND OF COOL THAT THE TRADITIONS MY FAMILY AND SO
When Brenna and Claire were younger, they always focused more on the candy aspect of Halloween than anything else. Their costumes varied between store-bought or homemade, since my wife could usually fix up something pretty neat. I remember one year they went as a pair of ghosts, but it didn’t work out too
MANY OTHERS HAVE ENJOYED SO MUCH BELONG TO THE ANCIENT ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN.”
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