Halloween is a holiday with an ancient tradition in ritual and religious celebration. While very little of the practices that originated the holiday still exist in popular culture, they did give rise to a newer, more fun and diverse way of keeping the tradition. So stock up on candy, Halloween Party supplies find the scariest costume that you can, and get ready for the most popular traditions in the history of the holiday.
Jack O'Lantern: Many legends persist about the origins of the holiday, but few are as folksy or colorful as the jack o'lantern. As the legend goes, Jack was a crafty, evil man, who tricked the devil up a tree and marked it with a cross before he had the chance to come down. As a result the devil got tangled in the greenery, and could not escape. Jack eventually passed away. His evil deeds would not allow him passage into Heaven, and Hell would not take him either. He was then forced to walk the earth with only a hollowed-out turnip and a piece of burning coal to light his way.
Costumes: adult halloween costume range everywhere from caveman costumes to famous movie monsters. Children usually pick their favorite cartoon characters or other Halloween costumes for kids. Today, costumes are a huge part of the fun of October 31st and carry with them their own special significance as expressions of individual personality from each wearer. They also make another Halloween tradition, the party, that much more fun!
Trick or treating: This practice dates back to the Middle Ages in the areas that are now Britain and Ireland. During those times, poor people would dress up in costumes every November 1st and go from door to door begging for food. The practice was incorporated into the holiday we now know as Halloween over time and saw aggressive support during the 20th Century in North America.
Scary movies: Since the dawn of motion pictures, movies such as "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "Nosferatu" have scored big with audiences, who liked the artificial danger horror films created. In these, you could face great evil and always live to tell the tale. As movies developed, horror became one of the most profitable genres, not just around Halloween time, but all throughout the year.
Ghost stories: A campfire tradition that was popular in the 1950's and 1960's, the tradition actually goes back much further. As early as Shakespeare, audiences were enthralled with the tradition in stories such as "Hamlet" and "Macbeth." The spooky nature of the proceedings lend themselves to the other elements of the holiday.
No matter what you do this Halloween, try to fit in at least one of these great remembrances into your yearly celebration. Just beware of the goblins and ghosts!
images from usacostumes.com