Halloween is one of the most iconic and expected celebrations in almost every community and in every part of the world. Not only families decide to make big plans but also institutions, some of them like universities or even schools. Some of the most popular activities are costume contests, parties, spooky decorations and much more.

Everything revolves around the night of October 31st. Streets and homes are dyed orange and covered with ghosts, pumpkins and cobwebs to welcome the scariest celebration of the year. It is a time when all the children come out to play and trick or treat in their neighborhoods.

Trick or treating also has a meaning quite different from just the activity we all know. In the old days people used to dress up as ghosts, demons and other creatures to ask for food and drinks in exchange for praying for their deceased. Nowadays it is a tradition that has mutated over time. Here, check up to what age it is usually done.

Halloween: Why is it celebrated in the United States?

Halloween is currently a day of fun, costumes, candy and children but its origins are not so joyful. They date back to many years ago in Ireland, when the harvest season ended and the new Celtic year began, coinciding with the autumn solstice. It was believed that on that night the spirits of the dead could walk among the living and from there the meaning of the day was born.

It is the union or extreme closeness between the world of the living and the realm of the dead. The festivity arrived in the United States in 1840 and from there it was strongly installed in the community. The Irish immigrants who arrived in America transmitted some versions of the tradition during the Great Irish Famine. 

They were the ones who spread the custom of carving giant pumpkins with a candle inside, better known as jack-o'-lantern, which is inspired by the legend of Stingy Jack. However, the big celebrations did not begin until 1921, when the first Halloween parade was held in Minnesota. As the decades went by, it acquired great popularity. 

The internalization of the October 31st holiday took place in the late 70's and early 80's, thanks to the entertainment industry. In 1979 John Carpenter's film Halloween was released. It was set on All Hallows' Eve and became a reference for B horror movies.