Boo! Halloween in Dayton.

Halloween is a holiday known for its celebration and superstition on the night of October 31st. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, costume parties, haunted houses, watching horror films, and carving jack-o-lanterns. Halloween has become a tradition for people of all ages to celebrate and is one of the world’s oldest holidays. However, Halloween has evolved and changed throughout history. The word Halloween actually comes from All Hallows Eve which is the night before All Hallows Day. This holiday was to honor all saints and martyrs. October 31st also marked the end of summer and the Celts believed that the spirits of people who had died returned to the earth. They believed that the spirits would try to hurt or possess them. The Celts dressed up in frightening costumes to scare away the spirits.

The tradition of Halloween was brought to American by Europeans and certain things changed. For example, Europeans carried lanterns made from turnips. In American, pumpkins were more common and people started to use them more. That is why you see jack-o-lanterns today. Halloween is primarily a fun day for children to dress up in costumes and collect candy. The question, “trick or treat” is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner if they do not give a treat to someone. Dressing up in costumes for Halloween became very popular in America in the 1930s, and progressed into popular culture by the 1950s. No matter if you are a child or an adult, everyone celebrates Halloween in some manner.  It is seen as a holiday to celebrate friends, family, and fun. Others embrace the superstitions about it. Either way, Halloween is a fascinating holiday that will be celebrated for years to come.

Written by Misti Spillman.

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