Halloween 2021: From outlandlish costumes to trick-or-treat, how the spooky holiday is celebrated in US
With time, Halloween has become more of a lighthearted celebration that nods to the supernatural, complete with carved pumpkins, ghostly decorations, otherworldly costumes, and haunted houses, lively parades and creepy attractions
People across the US celebrate Halloween every year by dressing up in costumes, throwing parties, and with children (and some adults) going door-to-door for candy treats.
Historically, the harvest moon holiday commemorated spirits of the dead. With time, it has become more of a lighthearted celebration that nods to the supernatural, complete with carved pumpkins, ghostly decorations, otherworldly costumes, and haunted houses, lively parades and creepy attractions.
Wear a Costume
Halloween is famous for its costumes which are the quintessential part of the celebration and a conversation starter. The more outlandish and creepier the costume, the better. Some people pick costumes that reference popular culture icons while others opt for ghoulish ghosts, vampires or zombies. You can find costumes for sale or rent at costume shops or seasonal Halloween stores or get crafty and make one. Costume contests are a Halloween staple so the more creative the costume, the more the chances are of winning.
Who doesn't love candy? Trick-or-treating has been a Halloween tradition in the US since the 1920s in which children wearing a fancy dress go from house-to-house in their local neighborhood asking for treats, usually candy. At every stop, kids say, "Trick or treat!" suggesting that if the homeowner doesn't dole out a treat, the child will engage in some sort of trick or mischief.
Many companies and shopping malls have embraced the custom, giving away individually wrapped candy, fruit, or non-edible gifts like pencils to children. Halloween is one day when children everywhere can enjoy buckets of free candy. Keeping in mind the basic trick-or-treating etiquette, the children wait for their turn, are courteous, accept only one treat unless they are offered more, and they are expected to visit each stop only once.
Carve a Pumpkin
Jack-o-lanterns, or carved pumpkins lit with candles from the inside, are an iconic Halloween tradition. These pumpkins transformed into smiling, toothy faces are a popular fall decoration for homes and businesses. During festivals and pumpkin patches, carving areas are often available for carving Jack-o'-lanterns. Markers are provided for drawing designs on the pumpkin's front, and carving knives for scooping out the seeds and cutting out your creation.
Visit a Haunted House
If you're looking for a thrill on Halloween, try visiting a haunted house. There are seasonal spooky attractions in the USA that are designed to give visitors a playful fright. Some of these attractions may have mummies popping out of closets, while others pipe in fog or creepy organ music to add to the suspense. Many haunted houses also appear only for the weeks leading up to 31 October.
Visit a Theme Park
Amusement parks in America offer more than enough thrills most of the year, but these places truly get wild during Halloween. Combining the exhilaration of nail-biting rides with costumed characters, candy for kids and a few spooks for adults, many theme parks like Walt Disney World Resort, Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, or the Knott's Berry Farm that transforms into Knott's Scary Farm in California highlight all the fun of this much loved holiday.
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