Halloween 2022 is celebrated every year on October 31, just before the day All Saints Day (Hallowmas) on November 1. People with spooky spirits dress up in scary costumes, wear masks, even paint their face, become ghosts and witches, decorate their homes with pumpkins, spider webs, skeletons and enjoy fun parties, pranks on each other and activities.
What is Halloween and its meaning ?
The word Halloween comes from All Hallow’s Eve and it means ‘evening of hallows’. The word Hallow means ‘Holy or Saint’ and the day is celebrated as a holiday which marks the day before the Western Christian feast of ‘All Saints Day’ or Hallowmas (All Hallows Day). The day before All Saints Day an evening mass was held called All Hallows’ Eve, this further was shortened to ‘Halloween’. Halloween Day is celebrated on October 31st, in which people deck up in costumes for an evening full of fun parties, games, costumes, treats and boozes.
Why is Halloween Celebrated and its Origin ?
Halloween originated with an ancient Celtic or Pagan festival celebrated earlier called ‘Samhain’ which was celebrated on November 1st and the party began early in the evening on October 31, where people lit bonfires and wore scary costumes to ward off the evil spirits.
And people believed that time seasons changed, so the boundary between this world and the other world is thin and connected with the dead. And this way Halloween Day gained its popularity as ‘Haunted’ and celebrated on October 31.
In the early 7th century, on May 13, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to the saints and began All Saints Day. But in the next century, when Pope Gregory III dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to the saints, he changed the date from May 13 to November 1. Then another century later, Pope Gregory IV added All Saints Day to the Christian calendar and it is celebrated in every church. And All Saints Day comes along with All Hallows’ Eve on October 31, and this offset the pagan festival Samhain.
What are the Halloween traditions or customs (rituals) ?
Trick-or-Treating : The custom in which children deck up in costumes and ask for treats from neighbors became popular in the United States. Irish and Scottish people revived the Old custom “guising” in which a person disguise himself in a costume or with a mask, then visit people’s houses, tell a joke, perform tricks in exchange of treats and soul cakes.
Jack-o’-lanterns : carving pumpkins, In the 19th century, it became tradition to carve out horrible faces from turnips in U.K.. But in the US turnips are replaced with pumpkins. After carving they were turned into lanterns and then used to ward off ghosts.
Bobbing for apples : this tradition is almost forgotten, which was originally a Roman party game. In which apples were hanged from a string or placed in water and the name of a single man and women given to it. Then the single people try to bite the apple they want to marry.
Mirror gazing : Another popular ritual is mirror gazing, in which people hope to catch a vision of their future looking in the mirror. Also single women stand in a dark room holding candles looking into the mirror for their future husband’s face to appear in the mirror.
Halloween parties : parties are held at homes, community bases and hosted on a big level. Party event halls are decorated in Halloween colors black, orange, purple with spooky decor. Music, dance, playing scary movies and many other events held at halloween parties.
Wearing spooky costumes : During Halloween people wear spooky dresses, wear masks, even paint their faces to look horrible, they prank on each other and host parties who look more spooky and it’s believed that to ward off evil spirits people dress up like ghosts.
Visiting haunted houses : People enjoy this day by taking part in many events, parties and even haunted houses are created and decorated, where people partake in it and enjoy fun parties and pranks.
Telling Scary stories : telling stories on halloween nights became a tradition and people love to watch scary movies with friends and family at night and tell even horror stories, just for fun and enjoyment.
How is Halloween celebrated around the world ?
Halloween has been celebrated since ancient times, which has gained popularity over the years. Halloween is celebrated with people decked up in costumes, wearing scary masks, pranks on each other, fun parties, trick-or-treating. People decorate their houses as haunted houses, carve out faces of pumpkins and perform many old rituals.
Halloween is celebrated with horrible decorations in some countries to ward off evil and in some countries light ways to honor the dead.
Ireland : this festival started by pagans as ‘Samhain’ over 2000 years ago, in which they dress up in costumes, lit bonfires and trick-or-treat custom is performed. And an Irish dessert ‘Barmbrack’ fruitcake is prepared which has rings, peas, coins,straw, pieces of cloth in it, which is made to mark the Halloween day and each prize is to forecast the future.
Mexico : “Day of the Dead” is celebrated over 3-days to honor the deceased family members and ancestors, houses & everything decorated with flowers. Many cultural activities, food and processions with candles carried out, live Mariachi bands performed. On November 1, “Día de los Angelitos” (or Day of the little Angels) is celebrated in which deceased children are remembered. Then on November 2, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated to remember the adults.
Scotland : Halloween in Scotland began with the Celtic festival which marks the end of harvesting season. Many unique rituals and processions are held, like throwing nuts in fire to seek answers to their relationships. If nuts are roasted without crack, it signifies a happy relationship, while broken nuts make them sad.
Germany : Halloween is celebrated here over a whole week, called All Saints Day. People visit the graves of saints and their loved ones and pay respect to them.
USA : Halloween came here with Irish and Scottish immigrants, which brings their traditions with them. And now Halloween in the USA is celebrated as the second largest holiday with much fervor. Parties, fun games, trick-or-treaters, Jack-o-lanterns, and having feast are common rituals performed during this festival.
England : British people partake in holiday but they celebrate a larger event on November 5 : Guy Fawkes Day. People celebrate the failed assassination of King James I by Guy Fawkes. People lit bonfires and celebrated across the country, children performed a ritual by walking around for “penny for the Guy” instead of “Trick-or-Treating” for candy.
Guatemala : People celebrate the festival on the first 2 days of November as “Barriletes Gigantes” (or Giant kites) festival. The Kites populate the sky which are flown over the graves of their loved ones, which represent the bridge between the living and the dead.
Austria : Catholics christians celebrate a whole week from October 30 to November 8 called “All Souls’ Week” with the All Souls Day falling on November 2. People visit their loved ones’ graves and decorate them and also attend masses.
Romania : Thousands of visitors travel to Romania to celebrate Halloween at the Home of ‘Vlad the Impaler’ (Vlad Draculea). He is famous for his legendary cruelty and murdering ways and popularly symolized with halloween in Romania.
Japan : Japanese celebrate this festival as ‘Obon’, they honor their dead ancestors and celebrate with special foods, decorate altars with candles and houses with lanterns and lighting to show respect to their ancestors.
Halloween Interesting facts
1. According to historians, Celtics used to observe New Year on November 1st where the season changed. Halloween started as pre-christian Celtic or Pagan festival called Samhain (summer’s end) and celebrated on November 1st. It marked the final day of harvesting. It also celebrated spirits crossing over into one another world. People in Ireland, UK, France lit bonfires and wore scary costumes to ward off evil spirits.
2. Trick-or-Treating, existed since medieval times. In Scotland, Ireland it was known as ‘guising’. Young ones dressed up, went door to door and asked for candy or treats.
3. Single women perform Halloween rituals to find a husband, women used to stand in a dark room holding a candle in front of a mirror to look for their future husband’s face to appear in the mirror.
4. Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland popularize the Halloween holiday in the US. When they came, they brought their rituals and traditions with them and celebrated.
5. Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday celebrated after Christmas in the US. Consumers spent billions of dollars on Halloween.
6. Irish people also brought up “Jack-o’-lanterns”. The story behind that, an Irish man Stingy Jack tricked the devil, therefore he was not allowed into heaven or hell. Instead he spent his days roaming the Earth, carrying a lantern. And he got the name “Jack of the lantern”.
7. Illinois’ state of America, produces a larger number of Pumpkins than any other state, around 15000 acres of land is used to grow gourds (according to the US Department of Agriculture) which grows 500 million pounds of pumpkins annually.
8. Anoka, Minnesota is believed to be one of the first cities in the world to begin celebrating Halloween. Anoka is known as “The Halloween Capital of the World”.
9. Bobbing for apples, Halloween rituals used to involve who would marry first, single women throw apple peels over their shoulders. And they land on their bases and they decide their husband.
10. New York City throws the biggest Halloween parade. It draws 2 million spectators and thousands of participants. Greenwich Village puppeteer Ralph Lee created the parade.
11. Fine for Trick-or-Treating, A city in Canada called Bathurst fines children over the age of 16, if they are caught taking part in it.
12. Nun and priest costumes are illegal in some US states, it’s illegal to impersonate as a clergy member.
13. Salem, Massachusetts, also known as the witch city, which loves Halloween. It is full of extravagant decorations and haunted houses.
14. There are many candies sold out during Halloween, but ‘Skittles’ are the top selling Halloween candy. And Candy corn had another name, used to be called “chicken feed”.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the day after Halloween day ?
November 1st is “All Saint’s Day” (The Solemnity of All Saints) or “Hallowmas” (Holy person or saint). This day is to recognize all Christian saints who have reached heaven and the day celebrated by holding a feast to honor the saints.
What is All Souls’ day ?
The day after All Saint’s Day on November 2, is All Souls’ Day. This day is celebrated to honor the souls of all the dead, it is believed that the prayers are held to help their souls to move them to heaven. On this day, many people visit graves of their loved ones.
Why do we celebrate Halloween on October 31 ?
Halloween is similar to the ancient Pagan festival celebrated earlier called ‘Samhain’ (summer’s end) which was celebrated on November 1st and the party began early in the evening on October 31. And people believed that time seasons changed, so the boundary between this world and the other world is thin and connected with the dead. And this way Halloween Day gained its popularity as ‘Haunted’ and celebrated on October 31.
How Halloween became popular in the United States ?
In the mid 19th century, Europeans like Irish, Scottish immigrants arrived in America and brought up Halloween customs with them and popularized Halloween day.
When is Halloween 2022 Day or date ?
Halloween is celebrated every year on October 31.
What is the theme of Halloween 2022 this year ?
This year the theme of Halloween 2022 is : “FREEDOM !”.
What are Halloween Horror nights 2022 ?
Universal’s Halloween Horror nights is a live entertainment house created for people to partake and enjoy. These houses feature sinister scare zones, haunted houses and halloween themed events held at Universal theme parks in Orlando Hollywood, Florida, US. There are 8 houses created in Halloween Horror Nights 2022 this year.