Halloween history
October 17, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

It is said that Halloween is derived from “All Hallow’s Eve,” or otherwise known as “All Saints Day,” which was celebrated Nov. 1. People may have believed that the souls of the dead came back to Earth to visit their friends and families.

The tradition of trick or treating started in Ireland. In preparation for All Hallow’s Eve, Irish townsfolk would visit neighbors to seek contributions of food for the feast in town.

It is also said that the Halloween tradition was brought to America in the 1840s by Irish immigrants who were fleeing the country’s potato famine.

Whether it be rituals and celebration that initiated from the Celts or the Europeans or the Irish, today’s Halloween celebrations are about fun. In fact, Halloween is second to Christmas in consumer spending, with much money spent on costumes, props, decorations, and candy.

It seems, more people have the Halloween fever. Houses, windows, doors, and yards are decorated with orange and purple lights, artificial cobwebs, spiders, and other spooky, ghostly, ghastly, or humorous Halloween delights.

My 11-year-old daughter is invited to a Halloween party hosted by a classmate the will feature games, decorations, and of course, costumes.

The high school students I teach are hosting a harvest party for preschoolers – 56 of them – (two parties, one in the morning and one in the afternoon). We are busy planning games, snacks, decorations, and crafts. The students have split into subcommittees.

Games will include a mummy game, where mum’s the word. The goal for the preschoolers is to try not to laugh at the antics of the high school students. Tickling is not allowed.

A game of pumpkin golf will take place, as well. The children will try and putt plastic golf balls into some jack o’ lanterns’ faces.

The treats are serving two purposes, as they are a craft project, too. How fun is it to create an edible art project? The children will be dipping pretzel rods in melted chocolate and then rolling them in candy decorations of orange sugar and colored sprinkles.

The witches’ hats snack is always a hit. Using round snack crackers as the base, the children will apply spray cheese on top of the cracker, and attach a bugle snack on top for the witch’s hat.

To wash down the snacks, the students will have “green gob brew.” This tasty concoction is made with lemon lime soda, limeade, lemonade, and lime sherbert. Yum!

A harvest party would not be complete without a scarecrow. The children are creating scarecrow faces out of paper plates, foam pieces, and Halloween ribbon.

There are many traditions associated with Halloween, as well as, new ones to enjoy. It really is about fun, even for adults. Happy Halloween.

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