From ghosts and ghouls to trick-or-treating, Halloween is a traditional, annual celebration on the 31st October. Halloween is celebrated on the eve of All Saints Day, worldwide with its origins dating back to pagan times. Multiple countries around the world commemorate the day in different ways, from fancy dress parties to lighting candles and bonfires.
The traditions of Halloween originate back thousands of years from the festival of Samhain, as a part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. Samhain marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. This festival was during a period when it was believed that the dead could walk among the living and on the 31st October, ghosts of the dead would revisit the living world. Bonfires would be lit and ceremonies would take place in order to warn of suspected ghosts and elements of the supernatural world.
An established theme that runs throughout Halloween is the carving of pumpkins. Traditionally, pumpkins are made hollow and carved with a grimacing face, finished by lighting a candle inside, known as ‘Jack-o’-lanterns’. It is known that the tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Ireland as part of a spooky story about a man named Stingy Jack who was associated with the Devil. Pumpkin carving is now an exciting, central part of Halloween celebrations, particularly in Britain and America.
Over the years, the celebration of Halloween has developed to more of a modern day celebration and is highly popular and anticipated across the globe. In America, Halloween is undeniably celebrated to the fullest. Going all out on decorations and parties, Halloween is actually their second largest celebration after Christmas, with an astonishing spending of $6 billion a year!
Similar to America, England is another country that enjoys extravagant Halloween celebrations. Many people gather to watch horror films, throw Halloween-themed parties with traditional games such as apple bobbing, and crawl the streets trick-or-treating in scary costumes.
In Mexico, ‘Day of the Dead’ is widely celebrated, from 31st October to 2nd November. Seemingly less gory than traditional Halloween celebrations, they take this time to remember and honour their deceased loves ones with festivals and extravagant decorations.
Here at thebigword we will be celebrating by dressing the office with cobwebs and pumpkins and all things creepy, as well as holding a fancy dress competition for all the team to dress in their finest spooky attire on Wednesday 31st October in aid of Cash for Kids.