The History of Halloween
Halloween has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years. It started as a Celtic pagan holiday, and was eventually Christianized as All Hallow's Eve. The Halloween tradition, which began in Scotland and Ireland, spread to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this period, many people emigrated from Scotland and Ireland to America, bringing the Halloween tradition with them.
Halloween has been challenged by religious activists throughout history due to its pagan origins. However, the Christianization of All Hallow's Day means that Halloween traditions around the world are popular in many nations with a high Christian population. The countries where Halloween is extremely popular include the United States, The Philippines, Scotland, and Ireland.
Halloween Celebrations in the United States
Halloween is often celebrated in the United States by wearing costumes. Many children go door to door in their costumes and ask for candy. This practice is known as "trick-or-treating." Adults also celebrate Halloween in the United States. They also wear costumes, though they commonly go to adult-oriented costume parties rather than going door-to-door.
Other Halloween traditions in the United States include pumpkin carving and lawn decoration. It is customary for people to carve a face, usually a creepy face, into a large pumpkin. This pumpkin is often displayed in the front yard of the house. Many people also decorate their front yards with skeletons, ghosts, and bats.
Halloween in The Philippines
In The Philippines, Halloween is celebrated very differently than it is in the United States. Poor children in rural areas of The Philippines often engage in souling, which is known as "Pangangaluwa." This involves going door-to-door and offering prayers for the inhabitants of each household. In return, the children often get bread or candy. These children may also sing hymns for candy or bread.
Halloween in Scotland & Ireland
Halloween is still very popular in Scotland and Ireland, where the holiday originated. Here, Halloween is celebrated much like it is in the United States. Children dress in costumes, a practice that is called "guising" in Scotland and Ireland. They then go from door to door asking for candy or spare change. Unlike the United States, where children often shout "Trick or treat!" Scottish and Irish children often shout "Help the Halloween party!" However, the American phrase seems to be becoming more popular amongst Scottish and Irish children in recent years.