October 31 – Halloween


For all of you who are interested in living in the United States, this is information regarding one of the American holidays, especially popular among children:

Halloween

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According to Wikipedia:

Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”),[5] also known as All Hallows’ Eve,[6] is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain.[6][7][8] Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.[9]

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.

Happy Halloween

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Another website, http://www.history.com/topics/halloween , says:

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything “frightening” or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague Halloween celebrations in many communities during this time. By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday

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