By Rocio Reyes, Montbello High School, Denver, CO
Scary Mask, Costumes, Candy, Witches, Monsters, Haunted Houses and so are all the ideals for a perfect Halloween. Halloween is coming up so everyone is getting ready by fixing up their houses, buying costumes,candy and getting ready to have fun.
Halloween first started off in Ireland because winter was the season that dealt with hunger and death. “Celts” (a group of pre-Christian mystics who worshiped nature) believed that the last day of October meant it was the end of summer, and November was the beginning of winter. So,they celebrated the eve of New Year on October 31, of each year, with a festival called “Samhain.” They believed that by celebrating Halloween it prevented evil spirits from entering the world because they would see “scary” things up already. Celts put out food and drinks for the dead and they would leave their windows, doors,and gates unlocked to give the spirits a way into their homes. Some people believed that if they left “treats” on the front porch for the spirits and ghosts it would make the dead happy, and the spirits would not hurt them. The colors of Halloween are black and orange because to them black is the color of darkness and death while orange is the color of “fall harvest”. They also believed that if you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved one watching over that person.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated throughout the world. For example, in Austria some people put bread, water, and a lamp lit up on the table because they believed that doing that welcomes the dead souls back to Earth that night. In Belgium people believe it is unlucky for a black cat to cross someone’s path, and it even more unlucky if it goes into someone’s house. The custom on Halloween night is to light candles in memory of their dead relatives. It is also celebrated in China, but it is known as Teng Chieh where food and water are placed in front of pictures of family members who have passed away while have bonfires and lanterns are lit because it is believed this will light the paths of the spirits as they“travel” the earth on Halloween night.
Halloween is a fun holiday for all ages. The tradition in the U.S is to go house to house in a costume asking for a “trick or a treat”. Most teens celebrate Halloween by watching scary movies in October and going to haunted houses and corn mazes; some teens also go “trick or treating” and many have Halloween Parties where everyone goes in a costume and has a great time. Some haunted houses in Denver are 13th Floor, Asylum, Zombie Land, Undead, Primitive Fear and Haunted Field of Screams. The price to get into one of these haunted houses is $20-$40 per ticket.
Clearly, Halloween can be celebrated in any way according to people’s beliefs on how to enjoy their holiday.
the original article from hsj.org, written by Rocio Reyes