I bet many of you are curious and confused about why so many Americans are talking about costume shopping. I bet you’re even more confused why the amount of candy at your local grocery store has doubled.
If you didn’t get the hint already, October 31 is one of the biggest holidays in the U.S., right behind Thanksgiving (November 24), Christmas (December 25) and the Superbowl (February 5, 2017).
Halloween usually comes at the end of the harvest season. It’s origin comes from the Celtic festival of Samhain, which means “summers end.”
How is this affiliated with trick-or-treating? According to The Telegraph, “The origins of trick-or-treating and dressing up were in the 16th century in Ireland, Scotland and Wales where people went door-to-door in costume asking for food in exchange for a poem or song.” Now, trick-or-treating is strictly a way for people, mostly children, to get bags of candy from neighbors and friends on October 31.
The tradition was later adapted by Christians, who celebrated “All Hallows Eve” and “All Souls Day,” which is the celebration in which Christian churches pray for the souls of the dead.
Aside from the U.S., Halloween is celebrated in about 15 other countries, including Japan (Obon Festival), Sweden (Alla Helgons Dag), and Mexico (El Dia de los Muertos).
If it wasn’t obvious, Halloween and the days leading up to it are the most profitable for businesses selling costumes and bite-sized candies.
So feel free to join the festivities! Binge watch Halloween movies! Dress as a ghost or a witch, but remember clown costumes are banned.