Can someone please explain why Halloween is such a popular holiday?

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  1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
    Billie Kelpinposted 8 years ago

    Can someone please explain why Halloween is such a popular holiday?

    I TOTALLY don't understand the fascination with Halloween. I never particularly liked the holiday even as a child, I don't like skeletons or thinking about death.  (My husband found coffin candy boxes at the .99 cent store and wanted to buy those for our friend's children.  I always made my daughter costumes like a bunny and Snow White and Wonder Woman.  When she was 2, I turned a paper grocery bag upside down, cut cartons of milk, eggs, cereal in half and glued it on the top, so she looked like a walking bag of groceries.  One year my husband and I were a BLT sandwich, but the death stuff ???

  2. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 8 years ago

    Halloween lets people get their DARKNESS on.  What other holiday allows people to be ghouls, ghosts, witches, & other dark creatures of their imagination & beyond.  Halloween is when one can safely & legitimately indulge their darker fantasies.  One can be as darkly wild as h/she wants without people considering them to be completely insane.

    Halloween also happens to fall under the sign of Scorpio.  There is such a Scorpionic aura to the holiday.  There is nothing better than to be as darkly outrageous as possible.  Why not have a Gothic theme for this holiday? Watch some dvds such as Black Sunday(1960), Horror Hotel, Rosemary's Baby & Sleepy Hallow.  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  That is when I make it a month affair, watching all the horror movies possible on my portable dvd.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like your really have fun with it, Grace.  I however, can't risk "crossing the line" to the dark side.  I might not get back smile (tee hee).

  3. nutmegrose profile image67
    nutmegroseposted 8 years ago

    For my family and I, it is about making special costumes and then wearing them to go trick or treating. We also carve pumpkins and watch ghost stories on TV . It is just a time that we spend together as a family and bond that is fun. This year I made Scottish Highlander costumes for all of us. My real men are wearing a kilt. smile

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I love the family-themed costumes.  I was at Downtown Disney last week and talked to a worker there who mentioned the best part of Halloween at Disney was seeing the families walk in as characters from a Disney movie!  Thanks for your comment!

  4. dashingscorpio profile image80
    dashingscorpioposted 8 years ago

    Halloween is loved because people see it as being fun!
    Kids love the idea of "free candy" and adults love the opportunity to behave like children and get dressed up, pretend to be someone or something else, and go to alcohol fueled parties.
    Quite a few women love to dress up in sexy outfits they'd never wear on a normal night at the risk of being frowned upon.
    Secondly a large segment of people have always loved being scared! Horror movies are a staple in our society from "The Exorcist" "The Omen", "Hellraiser", "The Conjuring" on to psychopaths like Hannibal. People will pay to be {safely} scared!
    It's the same reason why people enjoy riding roller coasters and wild rides. Unlike St. Patrick's Day and Cinco De Mayo kids get to participate more on Halloween. They love trick or treating!

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I think the horror films and scary rides help us feel we can go through terrible experiences and come out ok on the other side.

  5. aliasis profile image74
    aliasisposted 8 years ago

    Couples reasons!

    1. Halloween is a fun community holiday. With the tradition of kids going around trick-or-treating, as well as Halloween parties being popular at work, school, and among family/friend groups, it is a great excuse to get together and have fun.

    2. You can be creative! Making costumes, decorating the house, etc. Halloween really lets you ignite the imagination. Plus, autumn foods are the best - pumpkin and apple treats, not to mention candy.. The atmosphere is great.

    3. Halloween is one of the oldest holidays with a long tradition of being associated with the unknown. I don't think it's necessarily all about "death" so much as it toys with the idea of magic, spirits and mysterious forces (good or bad!).  There's the old idea that on Halloween, the veil between the spirit world and the normal world is thin. Even though most people probably don't literally believe in that stuff, there's a reason it's a popular theme. It's fun to think about, and after all, it celebrates the things that we can never really know for sure. It's mysterious and beautiful in a way. Autumn is happening, which means the trees and plants are dying and winter is on its way, so it's natural to think about those things.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Great points.  Thank you Aliasis!

  6. MizBejabbers profile image88
    MizBejabbersposted 8 years ago

    Halloween was always a fantasy world to us as kids. We liked the ghosts and goblins of yore. At that time there were no Satanic cults, that we were aware of, and it was fun to dress up like ghosts or pirates or even masked ballerina dancers. Maybe it was because my dad was an atheist and convinced us that there were no such things as ghosts or evil spirits. As children, we didn't think about death. It was all a game to us.

    Halloween was also free candy time, and back then we enjoyed going door to door in our home-made costumes. Usually our mothers made our costumes, but sometimes we were able to improvise our own. The local dime store may have sold costumes, but we wouldn't have been caught dead (excuse the pun) in a commercial costume. Store-bought masks were acceptable. The hosts at each house seemed to enjoy handing out the candy and viewing our "scary" costumes as much as we enjoyed knocking on their doors and yelling, "trick or treat!"
    But now times are different. It is too dangerous to trick or treat. Satanic cults, whether or not real, are still lurking in the imagination of conspiracy theorists. Television has brought such dramatic horror movies that caring parents are trying to emphasize a more spiritual atmosphere for their children. Kids have to drag their parents to screaming parties, or maybe it's vice versa. They each try to outdo the other in expensive costumes that never saw a mother's loving needle. Halloween is no longer what it was when I was a child. Maybe we do need to rethink what kind of values the Halloween of today imparts.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      MizBejabbers. I love the picture you're portraying of Mom's sewing costumes. That was my favorite part.  I made a Snow White costume for my daughter (those sleeves are really labor intensive!) and Dyna Girl with a cape, etc. It WAS fun!

  7. Michaela Osiecki profile image68
    Michaela Osieckiposted 8 years ago

    Halloween harkens back to a lot of pagan festivals that focused on honoring and remembering the dead and one's ancestors. The idea of death is one that has held fascination with the human race for the longest time, because it is so unknown and mysterious, even frightening. But these festivals acknowledge that death isn't the end and there is more out there, so it isn't meant to be scary.

    But over time, images associated with death and spirits became linked with Halloween as the holiday changed and morphed into what it is now, a spooky night full if mystery and mischief in which one might just be visited by a real ghost.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Michaela, Whoooo.  Where are Ghostbusters when you need them? Thanks for the comment smile

  8. Carol Reed profile image61
    Carol Reedposted 8 years ago

    Billie Kelpin, I have a Hubpage explaining a little bit about the history of Halloween and traditions, in case you haven’t read it.
    When my children were younger, I dressed them in nice hero costumes and funny little things but as they grew older I allowed them to dress in scary costumes. I don’t see anything wrong with the scary costumes because I enjoy watching scary movies. When I was young, I would sit beside my dad and watch scary movies. He was the kind of father that loved to creep around in the dark and scare my siblings and myself. He did the same when it came to going to haunted houses. At times, he was scarier than the actors. I loved it when he went to the haunted houses and forests with my friends and I.

    Halloween is a tradition for most. Some parents, battle with the traditional of taking their children out for trick-or-treat, one year they may conform, the next not and back and forth. This confuses me so I can imagine what it does for the children.  Others don’t allow their children to participate and this is ok too. Parties are always a fun substitute for trick-or-treat. However, I would stay away from bobbing for apples, I hear this is a bathing spot to pick up Strep throat.  My son can concur to that.

    I don’t believe in torturing a child’s fears by scaring them so bad that they cry. I do believe in helping them feel safe. When my daughter was a young teenager, I thought she was goofing around but then realized she was hyperventilating for real and I had to rush her out of the haunted house. Although she wanted to go the following year and I loved to go to them, I didn’t encourage it for fear she would have another episode.

    Halloween is the only time that I approved of my children begging for anything. This is a time that children and adults have the opportunity to cut loose, dress up in costumes and pretend to be whatever they want to be. It’s all about fun and the imagination.

  9. FatFreddysCat profile image93
    FatFreddysCatposted 8 years ago

    Free candy, lots of horror movies on TV and kids in cute/crazy/cool costumes. What's not to like??

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Very cute and succinct.  Thanks Keith

  10. Glenis Rix profile image95
    Glenis Rixposted 8 years ago

    I understand that it is fun for kids. I have no strong feelings about it but it does seem to me that nowadays, at least in the UK, it has become a merchandising opportunity created by marketing men/women. Much like Christmas. Each of these festivals is rooted in Christian religious celebrations but many children seem unaware of the facts.
    There has been a reaction locally against children who we do not know knocking on our doors and begging for confectionery - to the extent that my local weekly newspaper printed a cut out poster for people to display on their doors, should they so wish. It is a cartoon bearing the legend 'Sorry, no trick or treats'
    Have fun at Halloween by all means - just don't go door-knocking!

    1. aliasis profile image74
      aliasisposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Halloween actually predates any Christian celebration, it was a pagan festival called Samhain. In the US, if you don't want to give candy, you just shut off your front light. But it's fun to see costumes and give candy to kids, I recommend trying it!

    2. Billie Kelpin profile image85
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Very interesting Glenis.  My mother didn't like the idea of me asking for candy and she was terribly frightened because we lived in an apartment building and the news at the time reported razor blades in treats. But I eventually was allowed to go.

  11. profile image0
    ValKarasposted 8 years ago

    ANY tradition is hard to explain except in terms of mass suggestibility. Take swearing words for instance: there must have been one single individual who first said that : "From now on, the F-word will mean an obscenity". Then, for some mysterious reason, everybody agreed.

    Likewise, folks somehow decided that Halloween was a lot of fun  -  and why not. At its face value, we could mock this "silly practice" of going from door to door to "beg" for cheap treats. We could turn many customs around and make them look silly. Many of those garments at fashion shows look like something that could be used on Halloween, and yet they sell for thousands of bucks. So much about fascination with the bizarre.

    Well, as long as no one is getting hurt, let kids, big and small have their fun. And, as for those morbid costumes   -  they are just to give it an additional, "strong spice". In my view, it's actually positive that people get immune to "scary images", with a grain of spitefulness towards evil and death.

    1. KatyWhoWaited profile image80
      KatyWhoWaitedposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Vladimir, Great points.I love that u chose the "F" word 'n concept of how things get started. I have a penchant for using that word b/c I worked in a high school; it lost all obscene meaning for me. Using it at 70 helps me express depth of emotion


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