Story and history
Many believe that at the time of Halloween, spirits can make contact with the physical world and magic becomes most potent. According to a story, on the day of Halloween, the spirits of all those who had died the preceding year would return to look for living bodies they could possess for the next year. As the living persons would never like to be possessed, they would put out the fires in their homes, to make them uncomfortable and undesirable for the spirits. They would then move about in all sorts of ghoulish dresses and
noisily parade around the neighborhood to scare away the spirits.
A shortened form of All-hallow-even, because it is the evening of or before 'All Hallows Day,' Halloween was originally a pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain. Later different versions of the tradition were carried to North America by Irish, Scots, Welsh and other immigrants in the 19th century. In the West, Halloween is mostly accepted as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.
Symbols and colors
Halloween art involves death, magic and mythical monsters. So familiar Halloween characters include ghosts, ghouls, witches, vampires, bats, owls, crows, vultures, haunted houses, pumpkin men, black cats, spiders, goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, werewolves, and demons. Although black and orange are the traditional colors of Halloween, purple, green, and red are also used these days.
In the United States, the main Halloween event is trick-or-treating, in which children dress up in costume disguises and go door-to-door in their neighborhood, ringing each doorbell and yelling 'trick or treat!' The occupants of the house (often themselves dressed in frightening costumes) will then hand out things like small candies or miniature chocolate bars. This event takes different forms in different countries.
Games and foods
A common Halloween game is bobbing for apples, in which apples float in a tub or a large basin of water; the participants must use their teeth to remove an apple from the basin. Another interesting game involves hanging up treacle or syrup-coated scones by strings; one must eat them without using hands while they remain attached to the string.
Coming at the end of the annual apple harvest, candy apples were a common treat at Halloween. The practice, however, waned following rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples that they would pass out to children. Other foods associated with Halloween are candy corn, bonfire toffee, toffee apple, hot apple cider, roasted or popped corn, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread etc.
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