Halloween has always been one of my top favorite holidays, second only after Christmas as a child, and probably first nowadays (and definitely one of the least stupid ones I can think of. Oh, that reminds me, a late “Happy Columbus Day”, everybody…).
I imagine people have certain Halloween traditions that they follow the same as with Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. As a child, not only did I of course enjoy trick-or-treating, but I enjoyed going to “haunted houses” and other spooky events, as well as making Jack-O-Lanterns (and roasting and eating the pumpkin seeds), and watching Halloween movies (especially Halloweentown and R.L. Stine’s The Haunted Mask). I also enjoyed picking costumes each year. Some my mother made for school plays and I would then re-wear as my costume, and others were bought. I remember being an angel, pilgrim, monster, hippie, clown, sports fan, witch, and Tweety Bird. I know many pagans enjoy celebrating the original holiday upon which Halloween was founded, Samhain, and observe certain rituals and other traditions relevant to the holiday’s original intent before it was tweaked enough to appeal to the masses and became commercialized.
One tradition that I started with my little sisters when I would take them trick-or-treating was having them hand out Halloween pictures they had drawn for the occasion. We would sit down with dozens of pieces of cardboard paper and draw witches, spiders, ghosts, etc, with various Halloween sayings such as “Happy Halloween!”, “Have a spooky Halloween!”, “Trick-or-Treat!”, “Boo!” etc, and they would hand one to each homeowner where they trick-or-treated. Not only was this exercise fun, but I believe it helped instill in them the value of giving back. The homeowners seemed to really like it, and it was nice to see that a few of them had kept the pictures to hang on their front doors on successive Halloweens.
Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you have any Halloween traditions?