Halloween Traditions


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Jack-O-Lanterns are a typical Halloween tradition.

Heather Kirkhorn, Staff Reporter

Halloween is provides many people a night of spooks and fun. But, not everyone has the same traditions for this frighteningly fun holiday. Many people celebrate it differently, or not at all. What are some of the common traditions regarding Halloween, and what are some of the less common ones?

One common Halloween tradition is pumpkin carving. People go out, get a pumpkin, and carve it out to make decorations for their house; or to wear on their heads like a hat! Decorating your house for Halloween is great. Looking around and seeing people’s creative minds go wild, shown clearly in their front yards. It can be as simple as festive lights to skeletons mowing the grass. 

Another tradition is Trick or Treating. Kids go from door to door all dressed up in costumes yelling out “Trick or treat!” to get some candy or other treats from their neighbors, and other places where they can go. Some people do “Trunk or treat” where they set up their cars and trucks and decorate them in a parking lot so kids can trick or treat there. This leads to one popular and well loved tradition; dressing up. Dressing up for Halloween is fun. Getting to be someone else entirely and pretending to be them. It’s a nice change of pace from the normal and a real stress reliever. 

Corn mazes are also a pretty well-known tradition. What is Halloween without getting lost in a corn maze, then getting out and eating food from the concession stands, riding in a hay-bale tractor, then walking all the way back to your car? Well it’s still Halloween but you get my point, probably. It’s just nostalgic to think about. Halloween parties are fun, although mostly with teenagers because they are too old to trick or treat. They still get to dress up and hang out with their friends. Going to haunted houses is a great tradition to get into. Halloween is full of scares and tricks and a haunted house is the place to go for just that. Actually getting scared as well as scaring others, to some people, is a tradition in itself. Jumping out of hiding places and wearing spooky masks to get a scream out of people who walk by. 

Parks and stores make use of the holiday and go all out making special events for people to come out and see and participate in. Busch Gardens is a prime example with their “Howl-O-Scream” event. Smaller traditions can be telling spooky stories or making treats with your family. Having small outings and going to places to participate in activities just for the heck of it.

Día de Muertos or “The Day of the Dead” is a tradition in and throughout Latin America and some of the United States to celebrate life and death. It involves colorful decor like sugar skulls, skeletons, and flowers (mostly marigolds). It involves traditional foods and honoring ancestors and the deceased who have traveled to the spirit realm by putting up their photos and things they love out on an ofrenda. It’s said that the ofrenda is used so that spirits know where to go to visit their families. The bright colors, smells, and pictures of them help them go to the right place. Monarch butterflies are highly associated with Día de Muertos representing the souls of the deceased returning to celebrate with the living. They dress up in colorful dresses, sugar skull face paint, and flowers. They then party and rejoice happily to honor their ancestors and family members that have passed so that they always remember them. Day of the Dead is celebrated from November 1st to November 2nd, And while it’s not celebrated in October, it’s still considered a Halloween tradition to most. Though don’t get it mixed up. It’s not Halloween, it’s something completely different. There are so many traditions for Halloween because people keep making them. There is a new tradition for families every year whether they had existed before or not. Either way, if you celebrate or not, it’s an amazing fun day to be with your family and friends and just hang out. Traditions are nostalgic, whether you’ve done them or not. It just seems to bring a smile to your face when you hear about it.