I've always been fascinated with this holiday. I'm not one to like "scary". Nor am I fond of the "macabre". So, that being said, I've often wondered why this was such a popular holiday.
Sure, you get to dress up in what ever character you choose, knock on doors, and say "Trick Or Treat"- usually getting at least one piece of candy in return.
I have been informed that this holiday allows us to let the child come out and play "dress up", or gives us the opportunity to scoff at what would normally scare us. But lets take this holiday step by step, adding a few interesting facts as we go.
Why is Halloween always on October 31st? Well, it seems that this holiday is about 2,000 years old- was originally called "All Hallows Eve"- and was a pagan holiday to honor the dead. It's celebrated on the 31st of October since this was the last day of the Celtic calendar.
So! Now the preparation for this holiday! There seems to be three important steps to a successful Halloween!
Step #1: The Jack-O-Lanterns!
- Of course, buying just the right pumpkin is important!
Make sure the surface is clean!
Next comes drawing a face that can be scary or cute. Doesn't really matter. Little ones get quite a kick out of seeing their art work come to life.
- The fun job of cleaning out the pumpkin! (Yuck!!)
(This is where the art work shines!)
- The cutting! (I have seen some carvings that are truly a work of art! But for family fun- anything goes- and all is acceptable!)
Enjoying the results!
Trying to make a scary smile!
- The "Lighting" ceremony!
A little history!: The Jack-o-lantern tradition comes from an old Irish folk tale about a man named Stingy Jack! Seems he couldn't get into heaven- and even the devil didn't want him. So- he had to wander the earth, looking for a place to rest. The only light he had was a single piece of burning coal ember he kept in a hallowed out turnip. Many of the Irish migrated to the U.S. during the great potato famine of 1845-1850. Turnips were not as available as pumpkins, so they started carving pumpkins as a replacement for their tradition!
Step #2 The Costumes!
You can be pretty (A Princess!!)
Or ..Pretty scary! Or.... pretty much anything you want!
A little history!: The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts wandered the streets on this holiday, so wore masks and costumes- hoping not to be recognized as human!
Step # The Giving and Getting of TREATS!!
Payton went door to door for about 20 minutes. Then decided that she REALLY liked handing out the candy! She would compliment each child on their costume as they came to the door! I LOVED it!
Of course, part of the fun was being "scary"with daddy as the kids came for their treat!
A little history: On Halloween Irish peasants would beg for food from the rich. If the rich refused, the peasants would play a practical joke. So- the rich would hand out fruit and baked goods, in an effort to avoid being tricked. This morphed into today's "Trick Or Treat".
All in all, this seems to be a fun holiday that is enjoyed by all ages. This year was a bit nippy, weather wise. However, that didn't stop the fun!
Life is an adventure! And celebrating an age old Holiday with humor and goodies gives us another chance to play "dress up"! Next year I plan on participating a bit more! (I wonder if I still fit in my old Stewardess uniform! Hmmm!)
Thank you to Steven and family for sharing the holiday with us!