5 traditions that make a scarily good Halloween…

Boy in a skeleton costume at Halloween, holding a pumpkin with a carved face
Contributor: Juice Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Get ready for a frighteningly good Halloween… It’s that time of year when the ghosts and ghouls come out to play! And we’ve got loads of great imagery and ideas for the perfect spooky Halloween celebration!

All Hallows’ Eve, or ‘Halloween’ as it’s more commonly known, is just around the corner. Before we cover some of the most popular traditions, we’re looking past the pumpkins and trick or treaters to find out about the history of Halloween.

Why do we celebrate Halloween?

‘Halloween’ is a shortened version of ‘All Hallows’ Eve’, which marks the start of a 3-day celebration known as Hallowtide. All Hallows’ Eve is followed by the western Christian feast of All Hallows or ‘All Saints’, and finishes with ‘All Souls Day’ on 2nd November.

Halloween is observed across the world as ‘the day of the dead’, and it’s a day of remembering and celebrating the lives of those who’ve passed.

5 Halloween traditions from across the globe

Carving and lighting jack-o-lanterns

The tradition began in Ireland, where Turnips were used to create the first ‘jack-o-lanterns’ and English children carved large beets. Today, pumpkins are the more popular choice when it comes to carving veg. It’s a tradition enjoyed by the young and the old alike.

Jack o' lanterns lit up at night, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Contributor: SuperStock / Alamy Stock Photo

Constructing an altar

Most commonly observed in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, many people construct an altar in their homes to honour the dead. They decorate it with flowers, photographs and samples of the favourite foods and drinks of those they’re remembering.

Traditional Mexican altar installation at the Dia De Los Muertos Experience in Coachella
Contributor: Yaacov Dagan / Alamy Stock Photo

Trick or treating

This one’s for the children – dressing up in scary costumes and walking round your neighbourhood to get as many treats as you can! Children knock on the door and ask “trick or treat”? Though we all know this isn’t really a question, it’s just a sneaky way of asking your neighbours for sweets!

Six children in costumes trick or treating at woman's house
Contributor: MBI / Alamy Stock Photo

Apple bobbing

One of several apple-related games played at this time of year – although in a few countries, they add nuts and other fruits to the mix. It’s pretty simple to organise this Halloween game, just put apples into a bowl of water and try to catch as many as you can using just your mouth!

Children apple bobbing
Contributor: Image Source / Alamy Stock Photo

Dressing up in costumes

The Celtic people believed that spirits walked the earth during the transition from the end of harvest into the winter season. To avoid being targeted by evil spirits, they would put on costumes to disguise themselves as ghosts so they’d be left alone.

A scary evil woman with black eyes and red lips is death on a white background for a fear or Halloween concept.
Angela Waye / Alamy Stock Photo

Feeling brave? Take a look at this frightening selection…

Get in the spirit of Halloween...Get in the spirit for Halloween...

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