Halloween is the spookiest night of the year. It is also a boon to the retail industry - even during a pandemic.
And, with more people indoors and looking for a little cheer during another tough year, even pet costumes are also flying off the racks.
Halloween has come to be most closely associated with the pumpkin, but apples have also played an important role in it’s history.
Bobbing for apples remains a traditional Halloween party game. This practice used to be considered a form of divination performed around Halloween. Young people would literally dunk their heads in a tub of water and try to bite into the floating apple, in a quest to figure out their future partner.
As with any big celebration, getting the Halloween decorations right is important. During my college days, I love to decorate the exterior of my house to attract (or terrify?) the trick or treaters who come knocking.
According to folklore, the spirits of the dead were able to come back to life to harm people and crops in the physical world. People tried to appease the restless spirits on Halloween. And, these practices led to many of today's Halloween traditions. Thus, people used to wear costumes of monsters, ghosts, and devils to scare away the harmful spirits.
Today, people still celebrate by wearing scary costumes. However, now, they also dress up like popular celebrities, children's show characters, princesses, super heroes and much more.
Traditionally, if no treat is given, they can play a trick on the homeowners.
The Halloween celebration has spread to many countries throughout the world as a fun and commercial event.
Halloween is centered mostly around sweet foods. Traditional foods to eat on Halloween would be caramel apples, candy corn, caramel corn, any foods involving pumpkin (pie, bread, cake, pudding, etc) and soul cake. Soul cake is a Halloween tradition. They are like a cross between cookies and cupcakes.
Some daring people may visit spooky places like a cemetary, battlefield or other historic landmark. Some may even go to a ticketed “haunted house”, which hosts a thrilling and spooky attraction where actors are hired to scare people.
Trick-or-Treating is the most popular activity to do on Halloween night. Trick-or-treating is a fun activity that starts when the sun sets on October 31st.
A fun trick people play for trick-or-treaters is that there are bowls that say “please take one” and there will be a decoration next to the bowl that’s about human-sized. When the children reach for the bowl, the decoration tries to grab the trick-or-treater, making them realize it was actually a person in costume!
Some houses will not give anything to people who don’t wear costumes. A rule on Halloween is, if the outside lights of the house are off, then they are not giving out to trick-or-treaters.
I have an eye for Candy Apples
Apple always has a place in harvest celebrations. I find it particularly alluring to gaze at the dipped apples on sticks with bright red glaze showcasing next to a glass window at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. It’s an ingenious way of enticing potential customers, like myself. To me, this is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy confectionery.
It’s likely that bats were present at the earliest celebrations of proto-Halloween. Medieval folklore expanded upon the spooky connotation of bats with a number of superstition built around the idea that bats were the omen of death.
Gorging on Candy
The rise in the popularity of trick-or-treating inspired candy companies to make a marketing push with small, individually wrapped confections.
I have the tendency to go hunt for Halloween goodies, one day after Halloween because they will go on super sale, the day after.
Every year, my friends and family will make it a tradition to visit the pumpkin patch. Visiting a pumpkin patch isn’t just about finding the best pumpkin. But, the experience and fond memories that I make while there. Every pumpkin patch is unique and offers different activities. Pumpkin Picking is one of my favourite activities during Fall.
The best part of Fall is heading to the local pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin with my family. These pumpkin patches are usually just a short drive from Downtown, but I feel like I am being transported far away to a farmland with corn mazes, hayrides and apple cider donuts.
I, especially, look forward to the yearly Pumpkin Patch adventures. I enjoy admiring hundreds of pumpkins, corn stalks, hay bales, animal feedings while devouring tasty autumn snacks.
So on every October 31st, as the veil between the supernatural world and the human world is the thinnest, remember to wish all Mooers “Happy Halloween!”
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