Halloween – a candy fest for kids, pagan ritual, or the hottest holiday for adventurous adults?
The spirit of Halloween has different manifestations depending on where you live. When I was a kid, it was a day to dress up as your favorite TV or comic book character and collect candy from all the neighbors. In Mexico, they call it the Day of the Dead, a national holiday where even the banks are closed. In New York City, a raucous Halloween parade draws all manner of adults decked out in creative costumes.
At the heart of all October 31 festivities are both ancient pagan and religious traditions. Many believe Halloween originated in Ireland with the ancient Celtic ritual of Samhain, when people would dress in costumes and light bonfires to fend off wandering ghosts and spirits. On the Christian calendar October 31st or All Hallows Eve precedes All Saints Day, a day to honor saints and martyrs.