This evening in many parts of the world, children will be racing from door to door saying silly sayings. You might even see adults at work places dressed up as aliens, zombies, devils, vampires also seem to be common this year. If you are new to this here’s a brief explanation. It’s Halloween, which is a contraction of All Hallow’s Eve, or All Hallows Evening, the eve of the feast of All Saints Feast in western Christian cultures. This explains the name we use today, however there is a much longer tradition of celebrating on this date, from European harvest festivals, to days of the dead, and the Celtic Samhain celebration. The exact start isn’t known, and different people claim different roots, however lets look at the modern celebration.
First of all lets look at the children’s part in this. Many will dress up and be escorted around their neighborhood, going from house to house. They will be shouting sayings such as: Trick or Treat, gimmee something good to eat, or Halloween Apples, and many other creative ways of asking for small candy or fruit gift. This is known as trick or treating, and something that results in more than a few upset stomachs from over indulgence, sometimes even in the parents who are just sampling. One note of caution, in these modern times, it has become necessary to inspect the treats your children get for signs of tampering. Because of this many shopping malls or districts will hold a supervised trick or treat event. Other families will get together and celebrate as a group, giving the children treats, and organizing some games or other entertainment. Regardless of your belief system, watching the smiles on a young child’s face, or the shock of their being surprised by a ghoul or goblin, will bring warmth to you.
Teenagers, will still want to celebrate, most likely at a school event, and perhaps some will be escorting younger siblings on their trick or treating. Some teenagers will resort to pranks, such as soaping house windows, wrapping trees with toilet paper streamers, and other generally annoying but overall harmless pranks. Apple bobbing, starts by getting a large barrel or wash tub, filling it with water, then allowing apples to float within. People take turns trying to grab an apple without using their hands, the only body part allowed for grabbing the apple is your teeth. I can vouch from experience as a youngster, you can’t avoid getting your face and hair wet.
These days even the adults get into the celebration with costumes. Frankenstein, vampires, mermaids, devils, fictional characters, aliens, pirates and many more. Some of these can be a bit risque. Many pubs will have held a adults Halloween party last Friday or Saturday. You may see couples where one is dressed as an angel, the other as the devil, or you may see a nurse with a zombie, and a police officer with a criminal.
For those that would like more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween