Halloween: Night of the Creeps

Halloween is an annual festival celebrated on the 31st of October. It is a major celebration in countries like Ireland, Scotland, USA and Canada and is spreading to other parts of the world too. It is traditionally celebrated by carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing up in costumes, going for trick-or-treating (only for children), watching horror movies, visiting haunted sites and on the whole relishing in everything spooky!

The festival of Halloween finds its origin in the Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounce “sow-in”), which is the festival of the dead. The tradition of pumpkin carving also comes from this. In Ireland and Scotland people used to carve turnips in a custom called souling according to which the carved vegetables would help the souls of the dead in purgatory find release. When this tradition migrated to the West, the carvings started to be done on the more commonly available pumpkins, thus giving rise to the famous Jack-o-lanterns!

Jack-o-lanterns- creepy ain’t we?

Turnip Carvings

Trick-or-treating is another custom of Halloween that is enthusiastically followed on the All Hallows Day.  In this children in the guises of monsters and other Halloween themed costumes go about from house to house shouting out the famous phrase: “Trick or Treat!” calling out the inmates for treats if they wish to escape the “trick”.

Historically speaking, trick-or-treating comes from an old ritual where beggars would go from door to door asking for food, cakes and other goodies as they prayed for the departed souls of the family of the house owners. Now it has evolved into a more fun-filled practice that spreads smiles all around.

When the word “celebration” is pronounced, “food” can never be too far from it. Likewise, Halloween has its own delicacies enjoyed throughout this holiday starting from almost a week before the DAY. Caramel apples, candy corns, soul cakes, evil muffins (okay, I made that up, but hey…it’s a spooky day after all) and pumpkin related desserts are munched into by the dozen. And let’s not forget the candies. Halloween may be the festival of the dead but it sure as hell is a sweet one!

*Sigh* I go berserk whenever I see food (resulting in the food parade above); Halloween is after all a festival that gets everyone high on the excitement factor. So enjoy and have a spooktacular holiday and don’t forget to check under your beds before you go to sleep… Happy Halloween!!!

-Ria

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