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Happy Halloween!

Halloween is celebrated by many Americans every year on October 31. It is associated with scary symbols such as ghosts, monsters, and witches but it is also filled with fun and sweets. Read more to find out about Halloween and how our undergraduate student blogger Katie Overby celebrates this uniquely American holiday.


Halloween originates from the Celts, who celebrated a holiday called Samhain, in which people would wear scary costumes to ward off spirits, this combined with the Catholic All Saints Day, which was a feast day implemented by the Pope to honor deceased saints. The two were combined to form All Hallow’s Eve, which was celebrated with costumes, bonfires, and parades. European immigrants brought the holiday to the United States and combined their traditions with those of Native Americans to form what would eventually become today’s holiday of Halloween. ( I love Halloween because not only is it a time for fun, but it represents a holiday molded over many years by many different cultures to create a truly unique holiday and I feel that really embodies America’s pride of being a melting pot of people, culture, and traditions.

My Friends and I Trick or Treating as Kids (2011)

Halloween Traditions

Halloween is a favorite holiday amongst many American children. One of the most well-known traditions is known as trick or treating. Kids will dress in a costume and on the night of Halloween, go door to door saying “Trick or Treat!”. Once they do, they will receive candy from the owner of the house. They can amass buckets of candy such as chocolates, gummies, or lollipops. Parents will also take their kids to pumpkin patches, where they can see where the pumpkins are grown and pick one to bring home. Kids will then often carve those pumpkins, where they’ll cut shapes into a hollowed pumpkin and light a candle on the inside, creating what’s known as a jack o'lantern.

My Jack O'Latern Carved like the
Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland

Halloween for Adults

Kids are not the only ones who get to engage in the

Halloween festivities. There are often costume parties for adults, where they get to dress up in costumes as well. This is especially true for university students, who love dressing up during the holiday and going to different social events. Halloween is also a time for horror fans to enjoy all sorts of spooky activities, such as watching scary movies or going to a haunted house, where a building is decorated in scary decor and actors dress in costumes trying to scare those who attend. Many may get in the fall spirit by decorating their house to look haunted with pumpkins, spiderwebs, and other decorations.

My Parent's Home in South Carolina

My university has hosted a number of Halloween-themed activities for students such as Halloween movie night or costume contests. Finally, Halloween encourages the consumption of fall products. Americans have an obsession with anything pumpkin flavor from coffee to soap to cookies. A trip to the American supermarket during the months of September, October, and November means the aisles are filled with the flavors of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Flavored Cereal

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