All About the Spookiest Holiday - Halloween
One of the world's oldest holidays is celebrated in many countries, including Mexico, Canada, United States, and the land of its origin, Ireland. Today, Americans spend an estimated 9.1 billion dollars on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.
Some interesting customs for Halloween
Most Americans go crazy for Halloween by buying candy, costumes and decorations, not even noticing that they are spending more money than they need. Many people say that Mars, Snickers and clothing stores all around America have the greatest benefits from Halloween. Traditions include costume parties, trick-or-treating, pranks and games.
In America, young people, especially girls, cherish one particular tradition, and that's BOBBING FOR APPLES. If you haven't heard what bobbing for apples is, here is the answer. It's like a romantic fortune telling game that predicts whom you will marry some day. Some people would write specific names on the apples to determine who would be their match, others raced to see who could emerge with an apple first, predicting who was next to get married. Either way, biting an apple meant living happily ever after. Just like fairy tales and Valentines', right?
In Mexico, Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dear is connected to the religious rituals, honoring the dead ones. They believe that souls come back to earth and they even construct them an altar. After the altar is finished, they decorate it with candy, flowers, and photographs, samples of the deceased’s favorite foods and drinks, and fresh water. Candles and incense are burned to help the deceased find the way home. The grave is then decorated with flowers, and relatives usually make a picnic there. Some gatherings are like real parties, they even include tequila and a mariachi band.
What about the true spirit of Halloween?
So, is it true that Halloween is just a mass producing holidays that has no true value or significance? Is it just about money making and popularizing brands? When we read about the traditions and realize how much people spend on Halloween, we can’t conclude anything other than that is a great commercial trick. Some people ask questions such as why should we bother to preserve this holiday.
On the other hand, some people still believe that Halloween has a special message to teach us. Some believe that this holiday helps us preserve our sense of fellowship and community with our neighbors. The true value and importance of Halloween comes not from parading in costumes in front of close friends and family, but from the interchange with strangers, exorcising our fears of strangers, reaffirming our social bond with the people of the neighborhood who we rarely, if ever, see the rest of the year.
Love it or hate it, we all know what's Halloween. And it's been commercial since the early 20th century. Because of this commercial purpose, many people struggle whether to celebrate it or not. Whether you want to spend great amounts of money, or teach your kids a lesson, at the end, it's all on you.