History of Halloween in America dated back to the early 1800's. Irish and English people migrating to America brought Halloween with them. Therefore the Halloween traditions that Americans recognize today are a mixture of both Irish and English traditions.
Halloween was not a holiday in America until 1900's. Halloween was not included in the almanac until late 1900's. But with more and more Irish and English immigrants, Halloween was becoming popular even before that.
History of Halloween costumes in America
Halloween costumes, nowadays, have become a fun-centered activity. People wear costumes to parties and children dress up and go for trick-or-treating. But in older days there were two distinct customs. One in which people dressed up in costumes and masks to please the evil spirits. And the other one souling, ritual begging, where people go door-to-door and beg for food, and offer prayers to the deceased ones in that house. These two rituals later evolved into one custom where kids wear costumes and go door to door for trick-or treating.
History of Trick-or treating in America
Today trick-or-treating means kids, costumes and candy. But this wasn't the case initially. As we saw, saouling was practiced in medieval England and it was usually poor people who begged going door to door. Trick-or-treating was initially introduced to contain vandalism and later evolved into a fun activity for kids. Trick-or treating is considered to be an inexpensive way of mingling in the neighbors. This practice, even though evolving in a very later phase, has grown into very interesting custom involving children.
History of Halloween pumpkins in America
Now what is Halloween without pumpkin??Pumpkins were the staple food for American Indians and when English and Irish settlers came to America they adapted the pumpkin craze. Everyone would know the stingy jack story. Pumpkins and stingy jack had evolved into the 'jack-o-lantern'. It is believed that the first pumpkin pie was made when the European colonists had sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds and filled it with milk, honey and spices. They the baked inside the hot ashes of burning fire.
Halloween has taken a different face with every passing year. People put in some new concepts and media has given it a humongous boost. Halloween is the second largest holiday, after Christmas, in America. Huge amounts are spent every year for this holiday. A lot of traditional beliefs and customs have changed with time, and so have the methods of celebration. Halloween in America has become a festival of parties, food and costumes. Because this festival involves children more, this holiday is increasing in popularity worldwide.
A lot of this evolution was because of Halloween being one of media's favorite holidays. But with exposure to information also comes other fears. With the increasing crime rate, parents are now considering trick-or-treating unsafe. Some accompany their children or some just do not allow it.
With the way Americans celebrate Halloween, anyone would think Halloween has its roots in America. It is a surprise to know it does not. But who cares where the seed is from, as long as it grows rich here!!