Halloween is a holiday that is celebrated on October 31st. It is a Celtic feast of Irish origin. About 3,000 years ago, the Celtic year ended on October 31st and not on December 31st. This last night was the night of the god of death.
Halloween in the USA
Americans are absolutely crazy about Halloween and this date is the 2nd most commercial holiday of the calendar (after Christmas)!
The story of the exact origin of Halloween remains unclear, but it would be an Irish party. Indeed, about 3000 years ago, the Celtic year ended on October 31st, and not on December 31st. This holiday called Samhain was a kind of New Year’s Eve and the Celts used to celebrate by wearing terrifying disguises to chase away evil spirits and prevent ghosts from coming to haunt them.
By emigrating to the United States, especially during the Great Famine around the 1850s, the Irish and Scots introduced this holiday in North America. The name itself comes from the contraction of All Hallows Eve, which means Eve of All Saints .Halloween became popular in the United States in 1920 and became a very popular holiday. Americans decorate their homes with pumpkins, jack-o’-lanterns and other terrifying monsters or ghosts. Adults hold parties and children dress up and walk the streets to collect treats, saying trick or treat.
Americans are crazy about Halloween. Every year, 19 million cards are sent across the country. Indeed, 64% of the inhabitants of the United States celebrate Halloween and the privileged activities are: to distribute sweets (71,1% of the Americans), to decorate his house and his garden (46,7%) or to disguise himself (45, 8%). 3 out of 3 Americans will be attending or going to a party around October 31st to celebrate Halloween. The average basket for buying costumes, sweets or decorations is around $ 75. In total, an estimated $ 6.9 billion is spent on this holiday in 2015 – including $ 2.1 billion for confectionery alone.
Halloween in canada
It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the Halloween party became the party we know today. Canada knows how to celebrate its traditions and Halloween is no exception. Attention, the party is even taken very seriously.
Young and old alike will have patience before October 31, the day of traditional Halloween. Two months before, the stores are already making some decorations in their shop windows, the cafes are making a splash with the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the bars are starting to organize their annual theme party. The season has started.
The month of October sees wacky horror decorations flourishing in the gardens after Thanksgiving, people will buy their costumes and look for more incredible makeup ideas on YouTube. At home, we put the package: graves in the lawns, skulls in the hedges, arms hanging from the trees … Guaranteed bloody atmosphere.
On October 31, schools are already organizing to offer activities to children: pumpkin carving, costume parades, etc.
Most of the time, on Halloween night, it’s customary for kids to dress up and wander the streets to ask for treats from house to house. Once at the door, they ask for candy by the phrase « Trick or treat? Most of the time, people light their pumpkins or decorate their home if they wish to welcome the children. For older children, it’s time for a party.
Everyone is invited to disguise themselves in the streets where parades are sometimes organized. Every year, for example, Toronto is planning a large pedestrian-only party on a street with DJs and costume shows.
The bars and clubs also open their doors and offer Halloween evenings where everyone can present themselves in appropriate attire. What is challenging is that Canadians do not necessarily disguise themselves in a frightening way. Cowboy, baby giant, dinosaur … It is good to use his imagination to stand out!
Although its celebration is sometimes decried, Halloween is still well-celebrated in North America. A very special atmosphere seizes this evening which is, here, unique.
Are Australians celebrating Halloween? Yes and no.
Halloween is a subject on which Australians are divided. Some Australians think it’s another great excuse to celebrate and have fun it’s not like we need an excuse or anything. Others may think it’s not an Australian party.
As a result, when Halloween arrives, you will see some brightly decorated homes. Many neighborhoods with young children often participate in Halloween celebrations. But other regions with older demographics may ignore this day together.
Why do not some Australians want to celebrate Halloween?
Some Australians seem very opposed to the celebration of this day in Australia. This is because some people think of Halloween as an American tradition, and celebrating this day is accepting American culture above ours.
Rejecting Halloween could be seen as a rejection of American culture and a protection of our own Australian culture.
The Australians are just saying that it’s an American holiday and that they did not do it for them.
Halloween in South Africa
The vast majority of South Africans have no interest in Halloween. That does not mean anything to the millions of blacks who have no reason and few ways to celebrate it.
A few white city-dwellers make / consume unusual foods and beverages, usually for a party with co-workers. It’s almost insignificant here.
It has become more of a « thing » in recent years. This has never been and it is certainly not celebrated as in the United States.
The bottom line is that it is not safe for children to walk from house to house in our suburbs to be tinkered with; in general, people do not walk at night.
What you see is that some people decorating their homes and shops will sell Halloween-related items, but all in all, South African retailers are starting to buy Christmas starting in October. Halloween is well eclipsed by Christmas.
There may be events here or there where children will be entertained with a Halloween theme, but overall, very few people celebrate it.
This holiday was long called « the night of the nutcracker » or « the night of the crunchy apple » during which the families used to gather around a fire to tell stories of horror while eating hazelnuts and apples. Children also have the habit of playing « Apple Bobbing » which consists of catching an apple only with the teeth while the hands are tied in the back.
Today, this holiday is usually associated with children who go on a hunt for treats always dressed in costumes of monsters of all kinds. But be careful, if the neighborhood does not cooperate for the distribution of sweets, these monsters turn into small devils ready to soap the windows, write on the walls or return the garbage!