From ghosts and ghouls to trick-or-treating, Halloween is a traditional, annual celebration on October 31st. Halloween is celebrated worldwide on the eve of All Saints Day, with its origins dating back to pagan times. Multiple countries around the world commemorate the day in different ways, from fancy dress parties to lighting candles and bonfires.
The traditions of Halloween originate back thousands of years from the festival of Samhain, as a part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. Samhain marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. This festival was held during a period when it was believed that the dead could walk among the living and on October 31st, ghosts of the dead would revisit the living world. Bonfires would be lit and ceremonies would take place in order to warn of suspected ghosts and elements of the supernatural world.
An established theme that runs throughout Halloween is the carving of pumpkins. Traditionally, pumpkins are made hollow and carved with a grimacing face, finished by lighting a candle inside, known as ‘Jack-o’-lanterns’. The tradition of pumpkin carving is known to have originated in Ireland as part of a spooky story about a man named Stingy Jack who was associated with the Devil. Pumpkin carving is now an exciting, central part of Halloween celebrations, particularly in Britain and America.
Over the years, the celebration of Halloween has developed into more of a modern-day celebration and is highly popular and anticipated across the globe. America is the place where Halloween is undeniably celebrated to the fullest. Going all out on decorations and parties, Halloween is actually their second largest celebration after Christmas, and an astonishing $6 billion a year is spent on this festivity.
Similar to America, England is another country that enjoys extravagant Halloween celebrations. Many people gather to watch horror films, throw Halloween-themed parties with traditional games such as apple bobbing, and wander the streets trick-or-treating in scary costumes.
In Mexico, ‘Day of the Dead’ is widely celebrated, from October 31st until November 2nd. Seemingly less gory than traditional Halloween celebrations, they take this time to remember and honor their deceased loves ones with festivals and extravagant decorations.
Here at thebigword, we will be celebrating by dressing the office with cobwebs and pumpkins and all things creepy, as well as holding a fancy dress competition for all the team to dress in their finest spooky attire on Wednesday, October 31st to benefit Cash for Kids.