It’s Halloween weekend! A pretty exciting time of the year if you are either a child or a college student. Halloween, as we know it today and as seen in pop culture, is something that used to be celebrated mostly in the US, but the holiday has started to make its way abroad. Here’s some background on the holiday.
All Hallow’s Eve is celebrated on October 31st, and it is the day of the dead. Lots of cultures have a variation of this, in the Czech Republic it’s Dušičky, celebrated in November, or in Mexico there’s Dia del Muertos, it is a holiday during which you remember the dead. It was originally a pagan holiday that carried over and is still celebrated in one way or another today.
The holiday was made up of 3 days: All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. In Europe, it became a somewhat mystical holiday, because it was believed that on the day when fall turned into winter, the boundaries between the world of the living and the world of the dead were very thin. That’s why some of the activities during the three day holiday included scrying, divination, dream interpretation and more other magical festivities. Apple bobbing and bonfires as well as playing tricks are all traditions that are still around today.
Eventually the magical activities were banned by the Church and the holiday, once again, became about honoring and remembering the dead. Families would go visit the graves of their loved ones and pray for their souls.
It wasn’t until late 19th century that the holiday made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to North America. Even though it faced some difficulty finding its place, it soon became popular and was celebrated across the entire country. Halloween is now more popular in North America than in Europe.
Now Halloween lost a lot of the mysticism around it. But it is a fun holiday during which people dress up in costumes and kids go trick-or-treating for candy, walking around neighborhoods in their costumes and getting more hyper as they fill their buckets or bags or pumpkins with candy. It’s the one time of the year that kids are actually encouraged to knock on strangers’ doors and take their candy.
College students take advantage of this holiday and dress up and party. This is the part of the holiday that has carried over to other countries, because who doesn’t love a halloween themed party!
It’s also the prime time to watch horror movies, if you don’t like partying that much. There’s countless horror movies if you like being scared and even more halloween themed kids’ movies that are always fun to watch.
Most popular movies include:
- Halloweentown (1998)
- Hocus Pocus (1993)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- Beetlejuice (1988)
- Psycho (1960)
- Halloween (1978)
- Silence of the Lambs (1991)
- Edward Scissorhands (1990)
- Little Vampire (2000)
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- Scream (1996)
- Teen Wolf (1985)
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Lots of TV shows also love making Halloween themed episodes, which are good to binge-watch during Halloween and the weeks before!
Whatever you might do, whether it is trick-or-treating, going to a party or doing a movie marathon, have fun this weekend and on Halloween!