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Halloween History and Traditions

Halloween is celebrated on the night of October 31st. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, costume parties, viewing horror films, visiting ‘haunted houses’ and participating in traditional autumn activities like hayrides.

Halloween is celebrated in many parts of the western world: the United States, Ireland, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. More and more the holiday is also celebrated in parts of Western Europe.

Scotland has celebrated the festival of Samhain robustly for centuries. Robert Burns portrayed the varied customs in his poem ‘Hallowe’en’ (1785).

The carved pumpkin, lit by a candle inside, is one of Halloween’s most prominent symbols. This is an Irish tradition of carving a lantern which goes back centuries.

Other common Halloween characters include, skeletons, ghosts, ghouls, witches, vampires, bats, owls, crows, haunted houses, pumpkinmen, black cats, aliens, spiders, goblins, zombies, mummies, skeletons, werewolves and demons.

Particularly in America, symbolism is inspired by classic horror films, which contain fictional figures like Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolf Man and The Mummy.

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