Halloween: not just candy and horror movies, but tradition too

By Shawn Potter

Comment Columnist

Many enjoy taking the time to decorate their homes and yards for holidays like Halloween. Photo courtesy of Anthony22 on Wikipedia, via Creative Commons.
Many enjoy taking the time to decorate their homes and yards for holidays like Halloween. Photo courtesy of Anthony22 on Wikipedia, via Creative Commons.


The pumpkins are fully grown in the patches, waiting for someone to pick them up and carve them into jack o’ lanterns. Every store imaginable has their shelves fully stocked with candies of all varieties. Children and teenagers are all dressed up to imitate their favorite fantasy character. The Halloween holiday has finally arrived.

Mentioning Halloween as a holiday seems very natural, since most individuals have grown up with the traditions of trick or treating, pumpkin carving and watching scary movies. However, few people understand why Halloween is actually celebrated.

First off, Halloween can be classified as either a holiday or a tradition, because holidays, in a sense, are a day or an event in which certain traditions take place.

Secondly, if one were to break the word down, halloween means “all hallows eve.” According to Western Christian traditions, it is a night dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows) as well as any of the faithful departed believers.

The dressing up in scary costumes is one of the traditions in which people would wear the costumes to use the power of humor and ridicule to confront the power of death.

As far as the traditions of the holiday, there are many. Trick or treating is a tradition, although many have taken advantage of the aspect that children collect candy for fun. Ever since I first started trick or treating for candy, I was supposed to go out with my parents or an adult watching over me. I also was taught to inspect the candy I had collected for signs of tainted candy.

Other traditions include watching scary movies, either alone, or more preferably with a friend, in the dark. Pumpkin carving is one of the most popular and notorious of traditions. It gives people of all ages the opportunity the let loose, get a little messy and show off their creative side.

The traditions don’t stop at the festivities: you should never forget about all of the delicious foods. I personally would pass on a pumpkin pie, but others love their choice for a slice of pumpkin, pecan, or homemade apple pie. I’d take a slice of apple pie topped with fluffy whipped cream for dessert any night.

If you’re too old for trick or treating, there are always some fun parties or haunted houses to go to as well. Test you scare limits in a haunted house or bob for apples and enjoy a hot cup of apple cider at a friend’s party.

Whether you’re away from home at school, busy at work, or have another obligation, there is always time and a way to make the most out of the most anticipated day in October.

Shawn Potter is a Comment Columnist.

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