Halloween is the day of festivities for some good fun for people of all ages, though children get the maximum enjoyment out of it. It is celebrated on the 31st October of every year marked by such activities like costume parties, bonfires, frightening people with scary stories, viewing horror movies etc. Halloween is not native to USA; the day is celebrated in different ways by several European countries like Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, etc. America being a land of immigrants from European countries the practice of Halloween came along with them. Though Halloween was practiced in different ways in the different European countries America has seen all of them because immigrants have come all European countries.
Children’s love for particularly enjoying Halloween celebrations is that the practice of guising gives them an opportunity to dress up in various costumes, some of which are funny while some others are designed to scare people. Moving about in these costumes is called guising. The children are allowed to approach their neighbors and demand food or cash. This practice even though universal in the Americas and most European countries was prevalent even in the middle Ages. The return for the reward received is the promise to pray for the giver’s dead ancestors on All Souls Day which is on 2nd of November. Guising on Halloween Day has been practiced in Americas for over a century now and in fact, the custom started in Ontario, Canada and spread to other parts of the continent.
In Western countries any celebration of social nature usually tends to be having some connection with Christian traditions. The protestant Church has a divided opinion on the matter. Many clerics of the Protestant church take a benevolent view of the Halloween celebration because of the joy is brings to people in general and children in particular. It is pure enjoyment and fun with many people distributing free food. The spirituality of the religion is no way affected and Halloween can be considered as a successful function of social activities in historical traditions. Similar is the view held by the Catholic church also which is particularly happy that Halloween is a day for children to have a lot of fun.
Many games are played during parties held on Halloween day. One of the most popular games is what is called “dunking”. It is really fun game for participants, creating a lot of laughter. In a tub of water apples are left floating and contestants are required to remove the apples from the water surface using only their teeth. The more serious version of the same game is to hold a fork between one’s teeth without using the hand and piercing the apple. Another funny game is participants eating with their hand held behind, scones which are coated with syrup or treacle and are hung by a string. It is a pretty sight to see the treacle smeared faces of the participants.
Costumes are perhaps one of the most key elements when you think of Halloween. Dress designers have a field day with Halloween approaching and retail stores are full of new designs of funny and scary costumes. These costumes are designed and made of such material that very rarely can it be stored and used in the next Halloween. Every Halloween therefore sees spate of new costumes in the retail stores for ready-made dresses. Originally the costumes used to be of imaginary figures of super natural elements like ghosts, devils, monsters etc; of late however there is trend to depict characters from the fiction world and also of celebrities etc. Halloween parties with people dressed in different costumes are extremely popular in the USA. Costumes are designed especially for such parties. Costume parties are not held on 31st October but on the Friday before Halloween.