The Halloween Season in the UK – The Scariest Holiday of Them All
Halloween is considered to be one of the most important days for ghosts and spirits around the world, and especially in the United Kingdom. While it is true that Halloween is a special day for those who celebrate this sort of dark world, the fact of the matter is that there are several traditional reasons for this celebration as well. From the fact that Halloween is the day before All Saints Day to the fact that it is closely connected with many pagan holidays in Ireland, Halloween in the UK has a special significance.
While Halloween is not only celebrated in the UK but also in countries such as Canada and the United States, the reasons for this celebration vary greatly. Some people take the holiday to just relax and enjoy a fun time. Others tend to gravitate towards the darker celebrations which include activities involving ghosts and spirits.
For most however, the idea of having a Halloween holiday is one which involves a few standard activities, all of which can be attributed to fun and entertainment. These events and activities usually involve some of the following:
Jack-o-lanterns. Carving out a pumpkin is one of the most popular parts of the Halloween celebration. Traditionally, Halloween has also been a sort of harvest festival to celebrate the bringing in of that summer’s crop. The jack-o-lanterns which are carved as part of Halloween have the insides scooped out, and a candle is usually placed inside to emit a glow. The front face is cut out to resemble a face complete with eyes, nose, and mouth.
Costume parties. This adds to the fun of the holiday. There are several parties held around the UK which are based on the celebration of the Halloween holiday. Usually held at night, some parties have specific themes, while others are a free for all when it comes to the options of the costumes worn by attendees.
Decorating the home or office. Spiders, cobwebs, skeletons, and ghost figures are all used to decorate homes, offices, and other locations in the UK.
Halloween is Different From Other Holidays
Halloween is also different from other holidays for other reasons besides the ghosts and skeletons found around on 31 October. This day at the end of the month of October is actually one of the few holidays on the UK calendar of holidays that is not related to family gatherings. Christmas, Father’s Day, Mothering Sunday, and Thanksgiving all have an element of family at the forefront. However, Halloween is not related at all to family togetherness. It is, for many, a night to let loose and have some fun. Going out to the various Halloween parties around town makes for a very enjoyable evening.
History of Halloween in the UK
Halloween is based on a series of holidays in the United Kingdom which can be traced back hundreds of years to the 16th century. In Ireland, the end of summer festivals which recognised the harvest season was the precursors to the Halloween holiday that is known today. However, the name of Halloween first appeared in Scotland, not Ireland. From this time, it is known that some sort of fun festival was held on this day. However, the idea of dressing up in costumes came around later in books published in the 17th century.
Halloween is a unique holiday in the UK, and there is a strong industry to support this day. In the malls and shopping centres around the UK, shops are dedicated to certain items sold specifically for the holiday on 31 October. The stores order ahead of time in order to have a full inventory ready for the customers who are shopping for items in October. Some of the big sellers are costumes, pumpkin items, fake teeth, and candy. Giving candy to those who trick-or-treat is one of the main traditions for those celebrating the Halloween holiday event.
Another reason why the Halloween holiday is enjoyable for everyone is that there are no real obligations associated with the day. For other holidays such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas, people have been trained to give gifts and make special plans. Sometimes these plans are not carried out, and people are disappointed. However, for the most part, Halloween in the UK is devoid of obligatory traditions which cause people to stress out. Every aspect of the day is enjoyable and fun.
Dressing Up for Halloween
Some of the top costumes which continue to be seen on Halloween day in the United Kingdom are as follows:
Ghost. This is the classic Halloween costume for the UK, because of its connection to the holiday as well as the ease of constructing the costume. Even those on a budget can find a white sheet to cut holes out of.
Black cat. Another symbol of Halloween, the black cat can become a very attractive costume for those who know how to wear it. Putting cute little ears on top of one’s head will be a good start.
Out of the entire set of Halloween traditions and events, dressing up in costumes, going trick or treating, and carving pumpkins are some of the most enjoyable traditions to do on 31 October, the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn in the United Kingdom. Not traditionally a family holiday, the Halloween festival is a time when people can relax and go out and enjoy a fun evening.
Nurse. While not a symbol of death or darkness, dressing up as a nurse or doctor has become a good alternative for those looking for something a little less scary.
Devil. This is another fun costume which will be seen often in the UK.
Celebrity. From Elton John to David Cameron, the top celebrities are often impersonated by people celebrating Halloween in the UK.
Astronaut. One of the more fun costumes to create, the astronaut is a very enjoyable costume to get into for Halloween.
Halloween is currently the 2nd largest commercial holiday!