Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of western countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows or All Saints. According to many scholars, it was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots
Typical Halloween activities include trick-or-treating or guising, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, lightening bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
|1. Trick-or-treating and guising is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children in various kinds of costume and masks go from door to door with jack-o-lantern in hands asking for treats such as candy, cakes, fruits or coins, with the question, “trick or treat?” Generally, food or candy is prepared for children. If no treatment is given, mischief may be performed on the homeowners or their property such as destroying their jack-o-lantern placed in front of the door.|
|2. Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costumes are selected according to popular characters in fictions, celebrities, or prototypes of movies, such as vampires, or princesses and ninjas, etc. On Halloween, people disguise in clothes they have prepared and go to Halloween parties|
|3. Telling ghost stories and viewing horror films are common fixtures of Halloween parties. Episodes of television series and Halloween-themed specials (usually aimed at children) are commonly aired on or before Halloween, while new horror films are often released theatrically before Halloween to take advantage of the atmosphere.|
|4. Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses. Origins of these paid scare venues are difficult to pinpoint, but it is generally accepted that they were first commonly used by the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) for fundraising. These attractions include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides, etc.|