Halloween in American Culture – Term Paper Example

The paper "Halloween in American Culture " is an excellent example of a term paper on culture. The Halloween holiday has its origins from a pagan holiday that served to honor the dead, known as All Hallows Eve. This dates back to the 5th century BC in Celtic Ireland; it was believed that disembodied spirits of the dead would return in search of living bodies to possess, and this act was seen as their only hope for an afterlife. In addition, it is believed that Halloween has its share of influence from the Christian holiday, All Saints Day, which falls in the same period when they would collectively honor the saints and pray for the departed. The Halloween tradition has been embedded in most cultures, and its importance varies significantly among countries that observe it. The spread of the traditions can be attributed to the mass migration over the Atlantic in the 19th century. A celebration of Halloween in American provides participants with an opportunity to enjoy themselves through numerous activities involved. A celebration of Halloween enjoys the participation of many individuals of all ages with distinct activities to mark the day. However, the highlight of the Halloween day for kids and young adults are playing Trick-or-Treat in which they proceed house-to-house asking for treats, and threat a trick if a treat is not given (“History of Halloween”). Moreover, many adults celebrate Halloween at a masquerade or themed parties, where sometimes, a vote is taken for the best costume. Halloween costumes were initially modeled after supernatural figures with an intention to make one undesirable to the spirits, which included monsters, ghost, and witches among others. However, the availability of costumes for selection has extended to feature well-known characters from works of fiction, superstars, and generic archetypes such as royalties (Jing).