A Brief History of Halloween in the United States
Although Halloween is a holiday which most likely has its roots in an ancient Celtic festival, and has been celebrated in different forms for centuries, but did you know that Halloween wasn’t widely celebrated in the United States until the 1840s? Today we take a brief look at the origins of some of today’s Halloween customs in the United States.
The first These Victorian era Halloween celebrations included parties, where guests participated in activities such as bobbing for apples and fortune telling. The first American Halloween parade was held in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1905. Annoka, Minnesota, has been holding a Halloween parade annually since 1920, and is considered the “Halloween Captial of the World!”
Much of what we think of today as the classic iconography of Halloween, such as Jack O’Lanterns, skeletons, ghosts, and black cats, as well as the colors black and orange, were solidified by artists in the early 1900s. Their work can still be seen in Halloween greeting cards from the era. The Jack O’Lantern itself is a combination of a Celtic tradition of carving faces into vegetables such as turnips, (inspired by the legend of Jack of the Lantern, who was unable to enter either Heaven or Hell, and wandered through the darkness, lighting his way with glowing goal carried in a turnip) and an vegetable native to North America – the pumpkin! The pumpkin was ideal for carving, and thus the classic orange Jack O’Lantern was born.
Early Halloween costumes were homemade, and Sears began selling the first pre-made Halloween costumes in the 1930s. Icons from popular culture have always been popular inspiration for costumes. One reporter at the 1915 Halloween parade in Allentown claims to have seen at least 50 men dressed as the move star Charlie Chaplin.
Trick or Treating – the tradition of children going door to door in costume and begging for sweets first appeared in the United States in the 1920s. While trick or treating had to be halted in the 1940s due to sugar rationing, the tradition returned with a vengeance after the end of World War II. Today, almost one quarter of the candy sold each year is purchased around Halloween to be given out as treats!
So now you know a little more about why you might be planning to spend your Halloween night wearing a costume and going door to door asking for candy, or curled up in front of a scary movie – why not stock up on supplies to celebrate in style? Coupon Buddy has plenty of ways to help you save on costumes, party supplies , and candy.
Looking for more ideas on how to how to celebrate Halloween this year? Be sure to follow us on Facebook or on Twitter !