Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. The dress up, the ghost stories, the time of year, gorging on candy, ALL of the things that light up my inner child!
The Halloween we know in the US today was derived from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), which took place on November 1st. It was believed that the night before, the dead were able to walk the earth as ghosts. People would leave offerings on their doorsteps and walk around in disguise to “blend in” with the walking dead. (ghosts, not zombies) The pagan holiday was changed to “All Hallows Day” by the Christians (meaning All holy day) and the night before became “All Hallows Eve”. Now in the US, Halloween means trick or treating for the kids and parties for the adults. In costume, of course.
For me, though, Halloween is much more. It’s the time of year where you get that chill in your bones. The air is just starting to cool and the leaves have started to fall. There is just something about it. You can FEEL how centuries ago people thought this was the time of year when the dead walked among us.
I had a teacher in elementary school who also loved Halloween. She would deck her classroom out with skeleton cutouts, candles, paper bats, and spider webs. She was a music teacher and took joy in introducing us to pieces of work like “Night on Bald Mountain“, which she would play with the lights out and our heads down on our desks. Listening to that score in that environment made it take on a whole new life.
Of course, I wouldn’t be a true Halloween fan if I didn’t dress up. I’m so very lucky that Jake likes to play along as well!
This time of year is also when the traditional Halloween movies are played in our household. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Hocus Pocus, Sleepy Hallow, The Nightmare Before Christmas (which you can watch for three months straight! Yay for holiday crossover movies!), and any other scary ghost or zombie movie I can talk Jake into watching.
And every year, Witches Night Out is a must watch. It just doesn’t feel like Halloween without it:
What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions?
And candy corn? Yay or nay?