It’s October, and that means Halloween can be found almost everywhere you look in the USA. But what is Halloween, and how do Americans celebrate this unique holiday? Keep reading about Halloween in the USA below.
What Is Halloween?
Halloween is celebrated on October 31. It originated in Europe, but in the 1800s, immigrants brought their Halloween traditions to the United States, where it became very popular. In some European traditions, Halloween was the day that the spirits of the dead could come back to life and cause harm to people and their farms and houses. To frighten the spirits away, people dressed up in scary costumes and carved creepy faces into their crops.
Today, many of those traditions are still used in modern Halloween celebrations. Americans love dressing up for Halloween, and costumes can be anything from a witch to a dinosaur to Spider-Man! Americans also make “jack-o’-lanterns” by carving faces into pumpkins, just like traditional Europeans carved faces into turnips.
How to Celebrate Halloween
Dress up in a Halloween Costume
Are you going to a Halloween party this year? Many Americans host parties in their homes, but you can also see if a local restaurant or event center is hosting a Halloween party. Pop-up costume shops make it easy to find Halloween costumes, but sometimes all you need is an accessory or two!
If you have a black dress, for example, all you need is a pointy black hat and a broom to become a witch. To become a pirate, all you need is a white shirt, black pants, and a pirate hat.
Many American schools allow students to dress up in their Halloween costumes, and sometimes even teachers join in! Always check with your workplace to see if you are allowed to wear a costume or partial costume—like animal ears or a cowboy hat—before you dress up at work.
For some costume inspiration for you and your friends, here is a list of 20 best group Halloween costumes.
Watch a Scary Movie
October is the month that many horror movies make their debut in theaters across the USA, so if you’re a fan of thrillers, it’s easy to find something to watch at your local cinema!
If you don’t like scary movies, there are plenty of fun and funny Halloween-themed movies that won’t give you nightmares. This fun map shows the most popular Halloween movies for families in each U.S. state.
Of course, almost every American knows “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Even though it was made in 1966, it remains a favorite today and shows popular American Halloween traditions like wearing costumes, trick-or-treating, and carving jack-o’-lanterns. You can watch it on Apple TV+ for free from October 28-31!
Carve Your Own Jack-o’-Lantern
If you go to a pumpkin patch this month and find the perfect pumpkin, you can consider turning it into a jack-o’-lantern by carving a face in it. This easy tutorial will give you the steps for creating a jack-o’-lantern: How to Carve a Jack-o-lantern
Please make sure to be careful if you use a knife to carve. Also, do not put a lit candle inside your jack-o’-lantern if the pumpkin is too dry, in case of a fire. For safer alternatives, you can draw a face on a pumpkin in marker or paint. You can also choose to light your jack-o’-lantern with a battery-operated light.
For other tips, please be sure to read this article, which includes costume safety, trick-or-treating safety for kids, and safety tips for drivers on Halloween: Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween