13 October 2023
Are You Curious About Halloween
In this article, we are here to discuss Halloween. In recent years we have seen various costumes and decorations appear in stores and residences here in Türkiye but, you may not know much about the holiday. Let's get to know Halloween, which is equal parts scary and fun. The holiday traditions excite people from 7 to 70 so, let's take a look at how to celebrate.
What Is Halloween and Why Is It Celebrated?
The origins of Halloween date back to Pagan times. Celebrated for hundreds of years, this special day actually comes from Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival held at the end of summer to welcome the harvest, where celebrants would light bonfires and don costumes to ward off ghosts that were believed to come back to visit their old homes. These and other practices were used to hide from, or ward off, the evil spirits that were said to walk the earth during this time of year. Samhain also marked the end of summer and the beginning of winter. Halloween, as it is known today, is celebrated in America and in many European countries and it is also celebrated in countries such as Japan and some places in South America. In recent years, interest in Halloween has been increasing in Türkiye as well. Starting in the beginning of October, it is possible to see Halloween themed sweets and decorations in the stores.
When Is Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated on October 31 every year. People come together at various events especially on the evening of the 31st. Trick or Treating, parties and “haunted houses” are very popular. Although Halloween is technically just on October 31, in many European countries and the United States, preparations start weeks in advance, and it is possible to encounter the Halloween theme almost everywhere during the month of October.
Often the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Halloween are Jack-o’-Lanterns. Made of pumpkins of all kinds, big and small, in dozens of shades of orange, they are often found lighted in windows and on doorsteps. Beginning with early celebrations, root vegetables such as turnips and rutabagas were hollowed out and decorated to scare away evil spirits. Later, Jack-o’-Lanterns become a universally recognizable symbol of Halloween. One of the first reasons is the pumpkin's seasonal connection. In many countries in the northern hemisphere, it is possible to see pumpkins everywhere beginning in October. Even in Türkiye, pumpkins are also plentiful on the shelves of grocery stores and markets during this time of year. The pumpkins are generally carved with scary expressions, however they are also commonly seen decorated with funny expressions or even artistic scenes. After they are carved, candles are placed inside the Jack-o’-Lanterns to illuminate the decorations. In short, Jack-o’-Lanterns are now inextricable from the symbolism of Halloween.
Rituals and Celebrations
The oldest pagan ritual is the lighting of large bonfires. These days though, especially for young children, the most common way to celebrate Halloween is to dress up in costumes and go Trick or Treating. Generally done in their own neighborhood, children go house to house to collect candy. When they knock on the door, they say, "trick or treat!" and the host then gives each child candy. Sometimes the adults also dress in costumes as they wait for the children to arrive. Before Halloween, pumpkins are carved at parties that will be used as decorations at later events and gatherings. Other Halloween traditions include the telling of ghost stories, watching horror movies, holding costume contests, and preparing and consuming horror-themed food. Different foods are created to resemble frightening images, such as severed fingers, eyeballs, and other “bloody” drinks and sweets. Family, friends, and neighbors all dress up and come together at festive celebrations.
Halloween Costumes: What to Wear for Halloween?
Among the most popular Halloween costumes are concepts with elements of horror. Although witch, vampire and zombie costumes are very common, the variety of costumes are ever-changing and endless. A typical costume for babies and toddlers is the Jack-o’-Lantern costume. Costumes of movie characters such as the Joker, Harley Quinn, and Darth Vader, are always popular and you will also see pop culture inspired group costumes, and couples’ costumes aside from the classic costumes with horror elements.
If you want to celebrate Halloween here, you can search for places around you that will be hosting a Halloween celebration. Get into the Halloween spirit, don a costume, go to a party, and eat lots of candy.