The festival of the dying year, brown replaces green, the dead leaves fall off the trees… you know it’s All- Hallows’- Eve or Halloween.  

Every holiday provides great learning opportunities for kids and adults too. Since today is October 31st, it’s time to put on your Halloween costume, eat candy corn, and visit haunted houses.  However, have you ever wondered where these weird traditions and old origins came from?  What do we truly know about the ancient traditions that sparked our modern celebrations?

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays originated in Ireland dating back to 800 years before the birth of Christ. October 31st was known as the end of summer in Ireland, or Samhain. Samhain was actually a ritual to mark the end of the year. They believed that the winter represented death and the season of life met with death on October 31st. Spirits on this night come from the underworld and roam the earth.

Today's Halloween is no longer just for kids and has become bigger than ever. It is now acceptable for adults to dress up and party. Today's Halloween is a holiday for all ages young and old. Whereas the 20th century was marked by tiny little vampires going up to neighborhood houses, 21st century experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a truly terrifying haunted house containing Hollywood-level special effects.

Halloween history has remained remarkably consistent for almost 3,000 years. While the ritual activities have changed in practice and meaning, neither the real or imaginary darker aspects of the holiday have been enough to obstruct its route toward becoming the most popular holiday of the year. The average American will spend $66.28 on Halloween this year. This means a lot of people are shelling out big bucks to celebrate the holiday.

An old Irish folk tale tells of stingy Jack or Jack of the Lantern who is a mythical character associated with Halloween. As we all know the symbol of Halloween these days is the Jack-O-Lanterns. Long story short: There was once a man named Jack and he had a terrible reputation for playing practical jokes on people. When he died, he went to the underworld and he dared to play tricks on the devil so the devil got so mad and he kicked him out and then he went to roam the earth at night with a light of a lantern to search for his lost soul. Some say old Jack only had a pumpkin to carry his light. 

I can’t imagine a fall without craved pumpkins, vampires and zombies walking from house to house for trick of treat. As the full moon shines through bare leafless branches casting weird shadows on the path as we walk on crispy brown leaves. And nothing is better than visiting a haunted house and hearing scary stories just before you go to sleep!  Halloween is truly one of the most amusing, enjoyable and entertaining holidays there will ever be!  It’s worth dressing up and walking in your neighborhood all night!