Halloween Matters: A Story of Traditions, Old and New


Cadence Wooden

While it may not be about bonfires and spirits anymore, Halloween still holds a very special place in our hearts.

Mackenzie Torres and Cadence Wooden

Halloween is often considered a throwaway holiday — one that you grow out of once you hit your teens. But this isn’t fair to those who consider it an important tradition with rich ties to history. The traditions most Americans know now were all derived from ones thousands of years ago, all of which were influential enough to affect the present.

This age-old holiday shouldn’t be pushed aside once we hit a certain age. If anything, it should be embraced more. We are the people that are going to shape the holiday’s future and keep it alive.

Initially, Halloween was known as the Celtic festival Samhain. Large bonfires and costumes to ward off spirits were staples during this time, as were sacrifices and fortune telling. Customs like these manifest themselves in modern traditions that many of us are familiar with, such as dressing up and having large parties to celebrate. 

Halloween began in America as a modified version of the European tradition, and the mix of different cultures in America formed the holiday that we are used to experiencing today.

Although slightly different, the traditions from the past still carry on. Going through the tedious thought process of choosing a costume to wear on the spooktacular night and grabbing a bag or sack to help you amass the different candies that you’ll end up receiving are both ways modern culture has kept the spirit of Halloween alive.

We may not wear costumes to scare off demons today, but we still immerse ourselves in the tradition to have fun. 

As time has gone on, new traditions have been created. Now, many will go to haunted houses to feel the fear that the holiday brings about, and, as you drive down neighborhoods, there will be spooky decorations placed in peoples’ yards. While some don’t have decorations, many will continue the tradition of carving pumpkins and placing them around their doorstep. These traditions define Halloween as we know it today.

When getting a pumpkin, many choose to go to a pumpkin patch and take part in different festivities, such as hayrides or corn mazes. It is aspects of the holiday such as this that make it so versatile and friendly to people of all ages and interests.

There’s no limit to the possibilities that Halloween holds, so don’t throw such a precious time away. Rather, look upon it with joy and embrace the spooky and scary holiday we were all so excited for as kids.