The true origin of Halloween is unknown. Some people say it comes from the Roman feast to the death, Parentela, others that it derives from the Celtic festival Samhain, a harvest festival. The only thing we know for sure, is that the name comes from All Hallows Evening and that it’s a most important symbol, the pumpkin, was really a turnip at the beginning.
Halloween’s rich history is reflected in many of the games and activities we now consider classics. These are things every Halloween party must have, so you better plan for them.
Outside of the English-speaking countries, this is what Halloween is known for. It is a game kids love, just remember to assign an adult to take them trick-or-treating because kids, candy, and dark and busy roads are not a good combination.
Whether you are carving these for decoration days ahead or as an activity on the day of the party, jack-o’-lanterns are the classic symbol of Halloween. And if you are curious about that turnip thing, it turns out that jack-o’-lanterns were turnips carved to remember the souls in purgatory which became pumpkins in America where the orange fruit is native from and turnips were rarer.
Remember that these are not just for kids! Although in theory, you can impose a sub-theme such as witches or zombies, this is the only time of the year adults are allowed to live their fantasies, so most parties don’t have a theme. You have to pick your poison when throwing yours.
I also think this is not just for children, even if Wikipedia disagrees. Plus, bobbing for apples is much healthier than trick-or-treating, although I guess the latter could count as exercise.
Loving the scary
The imagery of Halloween revolves around death, evil, and the occult, and horror combines all these. The classic is scary stories, but a modern alternative would be watching horror movies, and visiting haunted attractions or horror theme parks.
The prank is the high point of any Halloween. Some people plan pranks for their co-workers, their family, and their friends, others just get them together on a party and plan a huge prank. Halloween is like an improved April’s Day where you can go all out. Take advantage of that.
Back in the old days, bonfires were all the rage in Europe. They were used for purification rituals (by jumping over the fire you were burning negativity), fertility (by removing impurities you were open for procreation), death (you are jumping over a barrier, crossing the line to the other side), and whatnot. Whether or not they still have all those powers, they undoubtedly have the power of being hilarious, so if you have a yard where you can light a bonfire don’t think twice.
OK, this may be obvious, but don’t forget to have fun. I know a lot of stress bees who never rest, not even on Halloween or Christmas. Come on – life is not just about being serious and working, it is also about fun and enjoyment. I’m sure you can stop even for a few minutes to relax and do a prank or two!
This is the last on my list, but only because people tend to jump to the end. Security should be your first priority – fireworks, kids high on candy, adults high on god knows what, pranks, bonfires… They can all be a disaster waiting to happen if you are not careful. So, don’t ruin Halloween – make safety your number one priority.