Every year Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October. The origins of Halloween can be traced all the way back to the 5th century BC. The celebration was originally adopted by the Romans in the first century AD. Two different Roman traditions that took place in October became a single holiday. The practice of dressing up a costume began a more ceremonial role as the belief in spirit possession lessened.

The distinct American version of Halloween has its origins in the separate beliefs and customs among many different European ethnic groups and the American Indians, which led to the history of the act of trick or treating. Kicking off early celebrations were public events that celebrated the harvest. Neighbors would often gather and share tales of the dead, reiterate ghost stories, and enlighten each other with fortunes.

In the United States, European immigrants had introduced Halloween by the 1840’s. The immigrants brought with them an assortment of holiday traditions and customs. Due to rigid religious beliefs during this time period, the act of celebrating Halloween was greatly restricted.  Irish immigrants to the United States began the popularization of the celebration nationally. The traditions of the Irish and English led to trick or treating. People would go house to house asking for food or money.

Trick or Treating is a great way for kids to have fun; however Halloween is no longer restricted to the kids, as adults dress up and attend Halloween parties to have fun and impress coworkers, friends, and peers.  Also, the expense of this holiday has expanded.  According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated $6.9 billion nationwide will be spent to celebrate All Hallows Eve.  Their figures for 2010 showed Halloween decorations brought in $1.6B, and candy sales amounted to $1.8B.  This means that it has since become the second largest commercial holiday in the United States.  Many people enjoy decorating their homes. It is common to see pumpkins carved, hay, straw, spider webs, strobe lights, and scary masks. People will often even try to scare others who are trick or treating at their home. Men, women, and children attend costume parties and wear disguises to both school and work. Haunted Houses have also become largely popular – where people walk through the dark and try to not get too scared and freaked out.

Like all holidays, Halloween is one to be enjoyed but should not be taken too lightly. Candy could potentially be harmful and must be inspected before given to children. In addition, parents need to follow their children while they are trick or treating. It is also essential to take the time to make sure the children wear costumes that are bright and colorful, sometimes by adding some high-visibility decals or stickers. 

We wish all little goblins a “Happy and Safe Halloween,” and for you big “ghouls and boys,” make it a safe one, as well!  See you in November!