Published on 26 Oct 2012 | over 4 years ago
Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows' Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain.
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as "guising"), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.
Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.
Halloween costume parties generally fall on or around October 31, often on the Friday or Saturday before Halloween.