Halloween (or Hallowe’en) is an invention of Celtic people of Ireland. It is celebrated on October 31. This marks the end of summers.In Ireland, with advent of Christianity, the Catholic Church started observing All hallows day (all saints day). Halloween means the night before All Hallows Day. After the Great Famine of 1845 and 1852, millions of Irish people immigrated to the USA and other parts of the world. With them, the custom of celebrating the Halloween emerged.
The relics and symbols associated with Halloween are jack-o’-lantern, imagery from Gothic and horror literature, scarecrows etc. have evolved over time. The carvings of jack-o’-lanterns are originally done in turnips in Ireland and Scotland. In North America, pumpkins are used. Many other elements of the autumn seasons replaced the original relics associated with this festival such as corn husks. Black and orange are traditional colors used in plenty during Halloween.
During Halloween, children disguised as little devils and carrying their begging bowls in shape of Jack-o’-lanterns and other shapes go home to home asking for treats with question ‘Trick or Treat?’. They usually do some tricks such as changing the color of artificial flower to earn their treats. This practice is dated back to the Middle Ages. Trick-or-treating tradition involves the poor folk going door to door on Hallowas that falls on November 1. They ask for treats in form of food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls’ Day.
Halloween marks with playing spirits disguised as ghosts and to trick the ghosts. The people indulge in trickery. Some fun play includes tampering with decorations on the streets but everything is taken joyously.
Halloween costumes are much attention garnering affair of the season. People traditionally dressed as monsters, ghosts, witches, devils, and skeletons also find inspiration from Hollywood movies and other fictional works. The fun completes with body jewelry which includes piercing jewelry. Even the less formal and noticeable jewelry such as rook body jewelry gets its start off during this season. People feel it is auspicious to get any piercing and those who are more formal at their workplace usually do not disdain to go for rook body piercing and jewelry. These jewelry come prepared as silver plated, gold plated, leather, feather and many other forms.
The favorite places to visit during Halloween are haunted attractions such as graveyards, haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides. Being at the onset of autumn, the holiday witnessed to enjoy party food such as candy apple, caramel or taffy apples. Halloween treats involve preparing toffee apples by wrapping the apples in sugar syrup. In Ireland, there is practice of baking the barmbrack which is light fruitcake in centre of which a ring, coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is thought that one will get his/her true love who will find ring during eat barmbrack.
Many other games are played at home with friends over treats involve apple bobbing, hanging up treacle by strings. Overall, Halloween is a traditional, fun festival celebrated with great fervor by many Christian communities worldwide.