It is not a holiday, per say. It started as a Celtic festival, where the Druids attempted to rid an area in Ireland of roaming ghosts. Bonfires were lit and costumes were worn in a rather superstitious celebration. The celebration over the thousand of years continued to change and began to evolve in the way that is close to the way it is today. This happened some time around the Victorian era.
At one point, in the 1990's, a more religious group started the movement against the schools having Halloween celebrations and it had stopped being even called Halloween. It was then known as Fall Festival Time. The celebration revolved around a carnival theme with games and crafts.There was no dressing up for a few years, however, that has passed for the most part, even though the word Halloween may be used more, the dressing up is done in dress as your favorite book character. (Please note that there are different varieties of celebration, depending on the area of the country that you live in.)
Children and parents became creative and used a wide variety of books to find the costume that their child wanted to dress as. I, for one, could truly care less if someone wanted to dress up as Snow White or a Ninja Turtle or Superman, just not something violent. I have nothing really against Halloween for those who wish to celebrate it. I just don't particularly care for it, especially when blood and guts are involved.
In a prior life as an educator, I had to dress up or else look like an oddball with no costume when the whole school was in costume. I did manage to come up with a simple, yet clever costume as a gypsy. It simply meant long dangle earrings, lots of necklaces and bracelets and scarves tied around my long skirt to add tiers. Ta-da!
I must say that I have been very fortunate in that I have never had friends who hosted a Halloween party, so I have not had to deal with that ever. Wait! I hope that is the case and that it was not that I was purposely overlooked? Of course, I would decline anyway, it would just be nice to at least be acknowledged. I guess you can't have your candy and eat it too?
Having two children going through Halloween was challenging. I definitely did not want to impart my dislike of Halloween upon them. I began very early to make their costumes as fun and humorous as possible. Even though, when our daughter was only two years old, I took her to the neighbors we knew very well beside our house and the one across the street. She rather liked getting the big candy bar from the neighbor beside us, however, when the neighbor across the street answered the door dressed up as a witch, this child ran as fast as she could (still not even sure if her feet touched the ground) back to our house and did not want to go out again. We had to go over the little finger play rhyme of the Five Little Pumpkins, just to make it fun again.
To me, Halloween has so many morbid and scary things associated with it. Ghouls, ghosts, blood, witches and the dead, along with scary movies is what I think of when Halloween is mentioned. Also, I would like to point out that we spend so much time teaching our children to NOT take candy from strangers, yet on Halloween we take them through the neighborhood to homes that we don't know to accept candy. Hmmmm! As a child, I do remember liking the bag full of candy that you receive when out trick or treating, as long as it meant that I did not have to go into someone's haunted house that they had decorated just for the little trick or treaters.
This year is a double whammy, in my opinion. Have pity on all of the teachers today, October 31, 2016. First of all, with Halloween being on a Monday, most schools celebrated it with a Fun Friday party and dress up. You can put the apples out and the pumpkin bread, however, the sugar high stuff will be what is gobbled up and I may add gobbled up all weekend. So in their minds, it is over. THEN, today, the real deal day of Halloween comes and in most areas, the children will go out in their neighborhoods to trick or treat. So they came to school today on a sugar high from the weekend and will again tomorrow. In fact, the whole week they will be. If you question what I am saying, just go to any school at lunchtime and see what is in their lunchboxes. The only other thing that could be added to this to make it even more chaotic would be if it were a Full Moon. Luckily, it is not.
Finally, I will leave you with this one question. Do you really believe that your pet loves to dress up for Halloween? My belief is that Halloween falls in to second least favorite celebration with the 4th of July holding first place for pets.