Halloween Present

Sarah Y. , Editor

To read more about how Halloween has changed over the years, please refer to “Halloween Past” located on the Features page of the Panorama.

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As the years passed by, different cultures such as American, European and Native American cultures started to mesh. The first sort of celebration of Halloween was referred to as “play parties” according to www.history.com. This holiday was to celebrate the harvest where locals would share their stories of loved ones who had died, read each other’s fortunes, as well as dance and sing. This brought around the rise of ghost storytelling as well as pranking others. By the 19th century, an autumnal celebration was common, but Halloween was still not celebrated everywhere. By the late half of the 19th century, America saw an increase in immigration. Mainly immigrants were coming from Ireland to avoid the Irish Potato Famine. This increase of Irish immigrants helped to normalize the celebration of Halloween among the entire country.

Later America began to dress up for Halloween and this began the era of “trick-or-treating”. This brought around more of the future telling aspect of Halloween. Women believed they could divine the name of their future husband by performing tricks with yarn or mirrors.

In the late 19th century, people pushed to have Halloween become a formally recognized holiday that was more aimed at making the holiday about getting together with neighbors and having fun rather than about witchcraft. This brought around the idea of Halloween parties for both children and adults. They would get together with friends, dress up and just have a good time. By the 20th century, the media tried to convince parents and adults to take out the scary and witchcraft elements from Halloween, making it more kid-friendly. By the ’20s and ’30s Halloween parties were a regular and community-based event. However, there was still an increased vandalism rate surrounding the holiday much to authorities dismay.

By the late ’50s the vandalism had died down significantly and the holiday went back to more of a “trick-or-treating” holiday. This grew into what now is considered Halloween. People dress up and go out during the night in hopes of getting some delicious candy. “Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday after Christmas,” according to www.history.com.