By Emily Horgan
Halloween is an annual holiday, celebrated each year on October 31.
Halloween originated with the ancient Irish Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. All Saints Day soon incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later morphed into Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, lighting lanterns and carving pumpkins. Around the world, as days grow shorter and nights get colder, people continue to usher in the season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.
During the time of the famine, immigrants from Ireland brought the holiday to the United States.
The commercialization of Halloween started in the 1900s, when postcards and die-cut paper decorations were produced. Halloween costumes started to appear in stores in the 1930s and the custom of ‘trick-or-treat’ appeared in the 1950s. The types of products available in Halloween style increased with time. Now Halloween is a very profitable holiday for the manufacturers of costumes, yard decorations and candy.
As a kid growing up in Ireland, Halloween was a major holiday and in general in the middle of our mid-term from school. The whole village would come together and throw a festive party. Everyone from babies to grandparents would dress up. Traditions such as; cutting the barnbarroch to find the ring, carving pumpkins, lighting lanterns, telling the annual ‘halloween story’, apple bobbing and much more made this holiday special to everyone.
Moving to Dubai and witnessing halloween in a different setting has been a change. Not being able to see the Autumn leaves or set the lanterns off on the dark spooky night just isn’t the same as back home. Many people have never even carved a pumpkin so if you haven’t, this halloween, spread the festive spirit and get yourself a pumpkin to carve 🙂