Halloween

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Halloween
Halloween (or Hallowe'en) is an annual holiday observed on October 31, which commonly includes activities such as trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving jack-o'-lanterns,bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

Symbols

Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloweenformed over time. For instance, the carving of jack-o'-lanterns springs from the souling custom of carving turnipsinto lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory.[6] The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween,[7][8] but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carvethan turnips.[7] The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837[9] and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.[10]
The imagery of Halloween is derived from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic andhorror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula),and classic horror films (such asFrankenstein and The Mummy).[11] Among the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne in 1780, who made note of pranks at Halloween; "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associated with the night, "Bogies" (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns' Halloween 1785.[12]Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins,corn husks, and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, or mythical monsters.[13] Black and orange are the holiday's traditional colors

Trick or treating and guising

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume fromhouse to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to a (mostly idle) "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. In some parts of Scotland children still go guising. In this custom the child performs some sort of trick, i.e. sings a song or tells a ghost story, to earn theirtreats.
The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to theMiddle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice ofsouling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland andBritain,[14] although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.[15] Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of "puling [whimpering or whining] like a beggar at Hallowmas."[16]

In Scotland and Ireland, Guising — children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins — is atraditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.[8] The practise of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around theneighborhood.[17]

Costumes

Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
Dressing up in costumes and going "guising" was prevalent in Scotland at Halloween by the late...
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