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Get the costumes ready for Halloween

Halloween Display - pumpkinOne of the most-widely celebrated of all holidays, Halloween is fast approaching and it is time for everyone to plan for the festivities.

The name comes from All Hallows’ Eve and is the day when the dead are remembered. Traditionally Halloween is the day for remembering saints, martyrs and believers; however, over the years this has changed to become a day when all the dead are remembered and it has been given something of a spooky twist.

The festival has roots in the pagan festival of Samhain, although Christians appropriated it as one of their own. It coincides with harvest festivals when thanks are given for the crops.

A number of new traditions have sprung up around this particular holiday. Trick-or-treating, for example, is something that is really popular in the US and other countries around the world, and it is now common for people to have Halloween parties and decorate their home. It is true that people have moved away from the religious significance of the day and have embraced the commercial side of the holiday; however, there are a few things you can do if you want to capture the true traditions of the day.

Church services are held on All Hallows’ Eve and it is also a custom in some parts of the world to visit the graves of loved ones and light candles. Some churches ask people not to eat meat on this day; therefore, a vegetarian dinner would be in keeping with the spirit of Halloween. Not all churches celebrate the day in this way, so ask your local church to see what it has planned and to get some advice on making the most of the day.

Alternatively, you can go all out and embrace the aspects of the day that have caught the imagination in popular culture. First of all, consider decorating your home. Carved pumpkins with candles placed in them look great on the front porch and there are plenty of spooky accessories that you can use to decorate your home. Spiders’ webs, witches’ broomsticks and monster faces are all popular and you can now get fairy lights in the shape of pumpkins or witches’ faces, which are very effective draped around the home.

Next you can plan a great costume. Costume parties generally do not focus only on the spooky aspect of the day and many people will go dressed as a superhero, police officer or something as simple as a ballet dancer; however, witch costumes are very popular and if this is what you want, make sure that you make arrangements in advance as these costumes tend to get snapped up very quickly.

Finally, get a few traditional activities on the go. Why not try apple bobbing or visit a few houses that are said to be haunted? Get the family together and watch a scary movie or two, or create a spooky atmosphere by telling each other ghost stories. Whatever you decide to do, you can make October 31st memorable.

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