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the History of Halloween

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Author Topic: the History of Halloween  (Read 193 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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« on: October 07, 2007, 12:35:10 am »



Also called All Hallows Eve
All Saints' Eve
Samhain
Observed by Many Christian nations, including England, United States, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, sometimes Australia and New Zealand and many Latin American countries where it is known as Noche de las Brujas (Night of the Witches)
Type Religious, Cultural (celebrated mostly irrespective of religion)
Significance There are many sources of Halloween's significance
Date October 31
Celebrations Trick-or-treating, Bobbing for apples, Costume parties, Carving jack-o'-lanterns, Bonfires and Fireworks (in Ireland)
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Jennifer O'Dell
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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2007, 12:36:52 am »

Halloween, or Hallowe'en, is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, costume parties, Halloween festivals, bonfires, ghost tours, visiting "haunted houses", viewing horror films, and participating in traditional autumn activities such as hayrides (which may have "haunted" themes).

Halloween originated under the name of Samhain as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century.

Halloween is now celebrated in parts of the western world, most commonly in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom and sometimes in Australia and New Zealand. In recent years, the holiday has also been celebrated in various other parts of Western Europe.

The term Halloween (and its older rendering Hallowe'en) is shortened from All-hallow-even, as it is the evening of/before "All Hallows' Day"[1], also known as "All Saints' Day". It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions[citation needed], until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' (or Hallows') Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.

In Ireland, the name of the holiday was All Hallows' Eve (often shortened to Hallow Eve), and though seldom used today, the name is still well-accepted, albeit somewhat esoteric. In Irish, the festival is known as Oíche Shamhna (Night of Samhain), or simply Samhain; in Scottish Gaelic it is Samhainn or Samhain; in Welsh, Calan Gaeaf to the Welsh; "Allantide" to the Cornish and "Hop-tu-Naa" to the Manx. Halloween is also called Pooky Night in parts of Ireland, presumably named after the púca, a mischievous spirit.

Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is one of the liminal times of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent (according to, for example, Catalan mythology about witches and Irish tales of the Sídhe).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 12:39:32 am by Jennifer O'Dell » Report Spam   Logged
Jennifer O'Dell
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2007, 12:38:53 am »



Snap-Apple Night, painted by Irish artist Daniel Maclise in 1833. It was inspired by a Halloween party he attended in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The caption in the first exhibit catalogue:

There Peggy was dancing with Dan
While Maureen the lead was melting,
To prove how their fortunes ran
With the Cards ould Nancy dealt in;
There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will,
In nuts their true-love burning,
And poor Norah, though smiling still
She'd missed the snap-apple turning.


On the Festival of Hallow Eve.
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Jennifer O'Dell
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2007, 12:41:46 am »

Ireland

Halloween is very popular in Ireland, where it is said to have originated, and is known in Irish as "Oíche Shamhna" or "Samhain Night". Pre-Christian Celts had an autumn festival, Samhain, "End of Summer", a pastoral and agricultural "fire festival" or feast, when the dead revisited the mortal world, and large communal bonfires would hence be lit to ward off evil spirits. (See Origin: Celtic observation of Samhain below).

Pope Gregory IV standardized the date of All Saints' Day, or All Hallows' Day, on November 1 in the name of the entire Western Church in 835. As it now began at sunset, the holiday coincided exactly with Samhain. Although there is no official documentation that Gregory considered Samhain when selecting this date, it seems consistent with the common practice of leaving pagan festivals and buildings intact (e.g., the Pantheon), while overlaying a Christian meaning.[2] While Celts might have been content to move All Saints' Day from the previous date of April 20, ("...the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches celebrated the feast of All Saints upon 20 April.")[3] it is speculated without evidence that they were unwilling to give up their pre-existing autumn festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain[citation needed].

Unfortunately, there is frustratingly little primary documentation of how Halloween was celebrated in preindustrial Ireland. Historian Nicholas Rogers has written,

It is not always easy to track the development of Halloween in Ireland and Scotland from the mid-seventeenth century, largely because one has to trace ritual practices from [modern] folkloric evidence that do not necessarily reflect how the holiday might have changed; these rituals may not be "authentic" or "timeless" examples of pre-industrial times.[4]

On Halloween night in present-day Ireland, adults and children dress up as creatures from the underworld (e.g., ghosts, ghouls, zombies, witches and goblins), light bonfires, and enjoy spectacular fireworks displays (despite the fact that such displays are usually illegal). Halloween was perceived as the night during which the division between the world of the living and the otherworld was blurred so spirits of the dead and inhabitants from the underworld were able to walk free on the earth. It was necessary to dress as a spirit or otherworldly creature when venturing outdoors to blend in. The children knock on the neighbors' doors, in order to gather fruit, nuts, and sweets for the Halloween festival. Salt was once sprinkled in the hair of the children to protect against evil spirits.

The houses are frequently adorned with pumpkins or turnips carved into scary faces; lights or candles are sometimes placed inside the carvings to provide an eerie effect. The traditional Halloween cake in Ireland is the barmbrack, which is a fruit bread. Each family member gets one slice. There is a piece of rag, a coin or a ring in each cake; if one gets the rag, then financial prospects are doubtful. Getting a coin indicates a prosperous future, and getting a ring is a sure sign of impending romance or continued happiness. Nowadays, only the ring is usually included in commercially produced barmbracks.

Games are often played, such as bobbing for apples, where apples, peanuts and other nuts and fruit and some small coins are placed in a basin of water. The apples and nuts float, but the coins, which sink, are harder to catch. Everyone takes turns catching as many items possible using only their mouths. In some households, the coins are embedded in the fruit for the children to "earn" as they catch each apple. The Scottish and English have adapted the tradition to a game named "ducking", in which a participant quickly dunks in a water-filled container in an attempt to get a prize, without being submerged too long. Another common game involves the hands-free eating of an apple hung on a string attached to the ceiling.

Irish children have a week-long Halloween break from school; the last Monday in October is a public holiday given for Halloween even though they often do not fall on the same day. See Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland.

As of 2006, several County and City Councils around Ireland have imposed bans on bonfires, citing apparent health and safety issues.

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« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2007, 12:42:47 am »

Scotland

Scotland, having a shared Gaelic culture and language with Ireland, has celebrated the festival of Samhain robustly for centuries. Robert Burns portrayed the varied customs in his poem "Hallowe'en" (1785).

Halloween, known in Scottish Gaelic as "Oidhche Shamhna", consists chiefly of children going door to door "guising", i.e., dressed in a disguise (often as a witch or ghost) and offering entertainment of various sorts. If the entertainment is enjoyed, the children are rewarded with gifts of sweets, fruits or money. There is no Scottish 'trick or treat' tradition; on the contrary, 'trick or treat' may have its origins in the guising customs.

In Scotland a lot of folklore, including that of Halloween, revolves around the belief in faeries. Children dress up in costumes and carry around a "Neepy Candle" a devil face carved into a hollowed out Neep, lit from inside, to frighten away the evil faeries.

Popular children's games played on the holiday include "dookin" for apples (i.e., retrieving an apple from a bucket of water using only one's mouth). In places, the game has been replaced (because of fears of contracting saliva-borne illnesses in the water) by standing over the bowl holding a fork in one's mouth, and releasing it in an attempt to skewer an apple using only gravity. Another popular game is attempting to eat, while blindfolded, a treacle-coated scone on a piece of string hanging from the ceiling.

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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2007, 12:44:58 am »

Isle of Man

The Manx traditionally celebrate Hop-tu-Naa on October 31. This ancient Celtic tradition has parallels with Scottish and Irish traditions.


England and Wales

The Anglo-Saxon invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries AD pushed the native Celts north and westward in Britain, to present-day Wales, Scotland, Cornwall and Cumbria, taking the festival of All Hallows Eve with them. All Saints Day (All Hallows Day) became fixed on November 1, 835, and All Souls Day on November 2, circa 998. On All Souls Eve, families stayed up late, and little "soul cakes" were eaten by everyone. At the stroke of midnight there was solemn silence among households, which had candles burning in every room to guide the souls back to visit their earthly homes, and a glass of wine on the table to refresh them. The tradition continued in areas of northern England as late as the 1930s, with children going from door-to-door "souling" (i.e., singing songs) for cakes or money. The English Reformation in the 16th century de-emphasised holidays like All Hallows Day and its associated eve. With the rise of Guy Fawkes Night celebrations in 17th century England, many Halloween practices, especially the building of bonfires, were moved to November 5.

Halloween celebrations in the UK were repopularised in the 1980s with influence from America, and saw the reintroduction of traditions such as pumpkin carvings and trick-or-treat.[citation needed] Between 2001 and 2006, consumer spending in the UK for Halloween rose tenfold from £12m to £120m, according to Bryan Roberts from industry analysts Planet Retail, making Halloween the third most profitable holiday for supermarkets. Nowadays, adults often dress up to attend costume parties, pub parties and club parties on Halloween night.

In parts of England, there is a similar festival called holy day which falls on the November 4. During the celebration, children play a range of "tricks" (ranging from minor to more serious) on adults. One of the more serious "tricks" might include the unhinging of garden gates (which were often thrown into ponds, or moved far away). In recent years, such acts have occasionally escalated to extreme vandalism, sometimes involving street fires.

Throughout England (and much of the British Isles), children carve faces or designs into hollowed-out pumpkins. Usually illuminated from within, the lanterns are displayed in windows in keeping with the night's theme of fright and horror. (See article Jack-o'-lantern.) Before the introduction of pumpkin carving from the United States, it was common to carve large swedes (a.k.a. neeps or yellow turnips), which is still done in some areas.

Bobbing for apples is a well-established Halloween custom, synonymous with the Scottish "dukin". In the game, apples were placed in a water-filled barrel, and a participant would attempt to catch an apple with one's mouth only. Once an apple was caught, it would be peeled and tossed over the shoulder in the hope that the strips would fall into the shape of a letter, which would supposedly be the first initial of the participant's true love. According to another superstition, the longer the peel, the longer the peeler's life would be; some say that the first participant to get an apple would be the first to marry.

Other Halloween festivities include fireworks, telling ghost stories, and playing children's games such as hide-and-seek. Apple tarts might be baked with a coin hidden inside, and nuts of all types are traditional Halloween fare. Bolder children may play a game called "thunder and lightning", which involves loudly knocking on a neighbor's door, then running away (like lightning). This game is known as "knock-door-run", "knock-and-run", "knock-knock-zoom-zoom", "ding-dong-ditch", or "postman's knock" in parts of the country, and is also played on Mischief Night. Tradition has been changing, as the majority of today's children will arrive at a door and intone "trick-or-treat" in order to receive money and sweets.

There has been increasing concern about the potential for antisocial behavior, particularly among older teens, on Halloween. Cases of houses being "egg-bombed" (especially when the occupants do not give money or gifts) have been reported, and the BBC reports that for Halloween 2006 police forces have stepped up patrols to respond to such mischief.
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2007, 12:46:22 am »

United States and Canada

Halloween did not become a holiday in America until the 19th century, where lingering Puritan tradition restricted even the observance Christmas prior to the 1800s. American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries do not include Halloween in their lists of holidays.[9] The transatlantic migration of nearly two million Irish following the Irish Potato Famine (1845–1849) finally brought the holiday to America. Scottish emigration from the British Isles, primarily to Canada before 1870 and to the United States thereafter, brought the Scottish version of the holiday to each country.

Scottish-American and Irish-American societies held dinners and balls that celebrated their heritages, with perhaps a recitation of Robert Burns' poem "Halloween" or a telling of Irish legends, much as Columbus Day celebrations were more about Italian-American heritage than Columbus per se. Home parties would center around children's activities, such as bobbing for apples, and various divination games often concerning future romance. Not surprisingly, pranks and mischief were common as well.

The commercialization of Halloween in America did not start until the 20th century, beginning perhaps with Halloween postcards (featuring hundreds of designs) which were most popular between 1905 and 1915. Dennison Manufacturing Company, which published its first Hallowe'en catalog in 1909, and the Beistle Company were pioneers in commercially made Halloween decorations, particularly die-cut paper items. German manufacturers specialised in Halloween figurines that were exported to America in the period between the two world wars.

There is little primary documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween in America or elsewhere, prior to 1900. Mass-produced Halloween costumes did not appear in stores until the 1930s, and trick-or-treating did not become a fixture of the holiday until the 1950s.

In the United States, Halloween has become the sixth most profitable holiday (after Christmas, Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Easter, and Father's Day). In the 1990s, many manufacturers began producing a larger variety of Halloween yard decorations; prior to this a majority of decorations were homemade. Some of the most popular yard decorations are jack-o'-lanterns, scarecrows, witches, orange and purple string lights, inflatable decorations (such as spiders, pumpkins, mummies and vampires), and animatronic window and door decorations. Other popular decorations are foam tombstones and gargoyles. Halloween is now America's second most popular holiday (after Christmas) for decorating; the sale of candy and costumes are also extremely common during the holiday, which is marketed to children and adults alike. According to the National Retail Federation, the most popular Halloween costume themes for adults are, in order: witch, pirate, vampire, cat and clown. On many college campuses, Halloween is a major celebration, with the Friday and Saturday nearest October 31 hosting many costume parties.

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights is one of the largest and most elaborate Halloween events in the world. The month-long event takes place at Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and Hollywood.

The National Confectioners Association reported, in 2005, that 80 percent of American adults planned to give out candy to trick-or-treaters, and that 93 percent of children planned to go trick-or-treating.

Anoka, Minnesota, the self-proclaimed "Halloween Capital of the World", celebrates the holiday with a large civic parade and several other city-wide events. Salem, Massachusetts, also has laid claim to the "Halloween Capital" title, while trying to dissociate itself from its history of persecuting witchcraft. At the same time, however, the city does see a great deal of tourism surrounding the Salem witch trials, especially around Halloween. In the 1990s, the city added an official "Haunted Happenings" celebration to the October tourist season.. Nearby Keene, New Hampshire, hosts the annual Pumpkin Fest each October which previously held the record for having the greatest number of lit jack-o'-lanterns at once. (Boston, Massachusetts holds the record as of October 2006).

Rutland, Vermont has hosted the annual Rutland Halloween Parade since 1960. Tom Fagan, a local comic book fan, is credited with having a hand in the parade's early development and superhero theme. In the early 1970s, the Rutland Halloween Parade achieved a degree of fame when it was used as the setting of a number of superhero comic books, including Batman #237, Justice League of America #103, Amazing Adventures #16 and The Mighty Thor #207.

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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 12:48:04 am »

New York City hosts the United States' largest Halloween celebration, known as The Village Halloween Parade. Started by Greenwich Village mask maker Ralph Lee in 1973, the evening parade now attracts over two million spectators and participants, as well as roughly four million television viewers annually. It is the largest participatory parade in the country if not the world, encouraging spectators to march in the parade as well.

In many towns and cities, trick-or-treaters are welcomed by lit porch lights and jack-o'-lanterns. In some large and/or crimeridden areas, however, trick-or-treating is discouraged, or refocused to staged trick-or-treating events within nearby shopping malls, in order to prevent potential acts of violence against trick-or-treaters. Even where crime is not an issue, many American towns have designated specific hours for trick-or-treating, e.g., 5-7 pm or 5-8 pm, to discourage late-night trick-or-treating.

Those living in the country may hold Halloween parties, often with bonfires, with the celebrants passing between them. The parties usually involve traditional games (like snipe hunting, bobbing for apples, or searching for candy in a similar manner to Easter egg hunting), haunted hayrides (often accompanied by scary stories, and costumed people hiding in the dark to jump out and scare the riders), and treats (usually a bag of candy and/or homemade treats). Scary movies may also be viewed. Normally, the children are picked up by their parents at predetermined times. However, it is not uncommon for such parties to include sleepovers.

Trick-or-treating may often end by early evening, but the nightlife thrives in many urban areas. Halloween costume parties provide an opportunity for young adults to gather and share a keg, while having a good time. The local bars are frequented by people wearing Halloween masks and risqué costumes. Many bars and restaurants hold Costume Contests to attract customers to their establishments.

In areas with a large Mexican population, Halloween has often merged with celebrations of "Dia De Los Muertos" ("Day of the Dead").

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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 12:49:13 am »

Mexico

In Mexico, Halloween has been celebrated during the last 40 years where the celebrations have been influenced by the American traditions, such as the costuming of children who visit the houses of their neighborhood in search of candy. Though the "trick-or-treat" motif is used, tricks are not generally played on residents not providing candy. Older crowds of preteens, teenagers and adults will sometimes organize Halloween-themed parties, which might be scheduled on the nearest available weekend.

Halloween in Mexico begins three days of consecutive holidays, as it is followed by All Saint's Day and then the Day of the Dead or the "Día de Muertos". (This might account for initial explanations for the holiday having a traditional Mexican-Catholic slant).

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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 12:50:14 am »

Australia and New Zealand

In the southern hemisphere, spring is in full swing by October 31, and the days are rapidly growing longer and brighter. This does not mesh well with the traditional Celtic spirit of Halloween, which relies on an atmosphere of the encroaching darkness of winter.
However, Halloween has recently gained a large amount of recognition in Australia and to an extent New Zealand, largely due to American media influences. In 2006, costume shops reported a rise in sales on Halloween-themed costumes, on October 31, 2006. On Halloween night, horror films and horror-themed TV episodes are traditionally aired.

A visitor from overseas expecting to enjoy an Australian or New Zealand Halloween will need to prepare in advance, since most events are private parties. Trick-or-treaters are usually supervised by adults and remain in their own neighborhoods for safety reasons, a practice often prearranged with neighbors. "Tricks" are not played in Australia, and "treats" of wrapped/sealed lollies (for safety and hygiene purposes) are generally given only by known neighbors and friends; strangers providing treats may be greeted with suspicion or hostility among parents, and discouragement among Australian law enforcement.

If trick-or-treaters venture beyond these culturally accepted norms, it is mainly in the form of antisocial behaviors by small groups to cause havoc, similar to that which occurs on Halloween in the United States, and, more recently, the United Kingdom. Destructive acts have little to do with the community spirit of Halloween, and perhaps reflect unpleasant societal realities such as unemployment, boredom or lack of social responsibility. Antisocial behavior associated with Halloween have fomented hostility among some Australians, who see "trick-or-treating" as the mindless imitation of American customs, and a tool of an American cultural neo-imperialism conveyed by popular media. Their aversion to Halloween reflects a wider refusal to accept "senseless or commercial Americanisms."

Vandalism on Halloween has been known to target school and community buildings, cemeteries and places of worship. Such actions have routinely led to charges of petty (often juvenile) crimes.

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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 12:57:35 am »




The children of the largest town in Bonaire all gather together on Halloween day.

Caribbean

Halloween is largely uncelebrated in the Caribbean. However, like Australia and New Zealand, the event is not unheard of in the Caribbean and is seeing some increase in popularity.

In some parts of the British West Indies, there are celebrations commemorating Guy Fawkes Night that occur around the time of Halloween. The celebrations include using firecrackers, blowing bamboo joints and similar activities.

On the island of Bonaire, the children of a town typically gather to trick-or-treat for sweets among the town shops (instead of people's homes, as in other countries).

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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 12:59:22 am »

Malta

Halloween had never been celebrated in Malta until recently, with its popularity increasing thanks to the many costume parties, usually for teenagers and young adults, being organized on Halloween night. Trick-or-treating is not widely known in Malta.[citations needed]


People's Republic of China

There is no Halloween in Chinese tradition, but there is a similar Chinese holiday called Ghost Festival. The Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday, which is celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 14th night of the seventh lunar month, which is called Ghost Day. In Chinese tradition, the ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower world.


Other regions

In other regions, Halloween has become popular in the context of American pop culture. Some Catholics and Protestants do not appreciate the resultant deemphasis of the more spiritual aspects of All Hallows Eve and Reformation Day, respectively, or of regional festivals occurring around the same time (such as St Martin's Day). Business has a natural tendency to capitalize on the holiday season's more commercial aspects, such as the sale of decorations and costumes.

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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2007, 01:03:37 am »



Jack-o'-lanterns are often carved into silly or scary faces.

Symbols

The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween's most prominent symbols. This is an Irish tradition of carving a lantern which goes back centuries. These lanterns are usually carved from a turnip or swede (or more uncommonly a mangelwurzel). The carving of pumpkins was first associated with Halloween in North America, where the pumpkin was available, and much larger and easier to carve. Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their home's doorstep after dark.

The jack-o'-lantern can be traced back to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a greedy, gambling, hard drinking old farmer who tricked the devil into climbing a tree, and trapped him by carving a cross into the trunk of the tree. In revenge, the devil placed a curse on Jack which dooms him to forever wander the earth at night. For centuries, the bedtime parable was told by Irish parents to their children. At Halloween time, the children carved out turnips, placing a candle inside to symbolize Jack's curse. But in America the tradition of carving pumpkins is known to have preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration, and the tradition of carving vegetable lanterns may also have been brought over by the Scottish or English; documentation is unavailable to establish when or by whom. The carved pumpkin was associated generally with harvest time in America, and did not become specifically associated with Halloween until the mid to late 19th century.

The imagery surrounding Halloween is largely an amalgamation of the Halloween season itself, nearly a century of work from American filmmakers and graphic artists, and a rather commercialized take on the dark and mysterious. Halloween imagery tends to involve death, magic, or mythical monsters. Common Halloween characters include, skeletons, ghosts, ghouls, witches, vampires, bats, owls, crows, vultures, haunted houses, pumpkinmen, black cats, aliens, spiders, goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, werewolves and demons. Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films, which contain fictional figures like Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, The Wolf Man, and The Mummy. More modern horror antagonists like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and the Jigsaw Killer have also become associated with the holiday. Homes are often decorated with these symbols around Halloween.

Black and orange are the traditional colors of Halloween. In modern Halloween images and products, purple, green and red are also prominent. The use of these colors is largely a result of holiday advertising dating back over a century, and tends to be associated with various aspects of Halloween tradition.

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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2007, 01:06:23 am »

Color associations Color Symbolism

Black - death, night, witches, black cats, bats, vampires
Orange - pumpkins, jack o' lanterns, Autumn, the turning leaves, fire
Purple - night, the supernatural, mysticism
Green - goblins, monsters, zombies, aliens
White - Ghosts, mummies, a full moon
Red - blood, fire, demons, Satan
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2007, 01:18:03 am »

United States and Canada

The main event for children of modern Halloween in the United States and Canada is trick-or-treating, in which children disguise themselves in costumes and go door-to-door in their neighborhoods, ringing each doorbell and yelling "trick or treat!" to solicit the usual gift of candies. Although the practice resembles the older traditions of guising in Ireland and Scotland, ritual begging on Halloween does not appear in English-speaking North America until the 20th century, and may have developed independently. Upon receiving trick-or-treaters, the house occupants (who might also be in costume) often hand out small candies, miniature chocolate bars, loose change, or soda pop. Some homes will use sound effects and fog machines to help establish an eerie atmosphere. Other less scary house decoration themes might be used to entertain younger visitors. Children can often accumulate many treats on Halloween night, filling up entire pillow cases, shopping bags or large plastic containers.

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