Happy Halloween! While many things have looked different due to COVID-19, we are excited to celebrate a little bit of normalcy with Halloween -- a time to hang out with your families, eat candy, and watch spooky movies.
We were happy to celebrate Halloween throughout the district this week. At the high school, they had a spirit week that included door decorating and a costume day. At the Madison Middle School, students dressed up for a donation, and both elementary level buildings celebrated with COVID-19 safe Halloween parties and costumes. Virtual students also got to dress up and show off their costumes. These events helped to provide a sense of normalcy during this very different time.
Halloween comes from two different early European celebrations: Samhain and All Saints’ Day. Samhain is a traditional Celtic festival that begins on or around October 31. The festival is meant to honor the dead and finish off the harvest as the temperatures begin to drop. Typical celebrations also include a bonfire and costumes to ward off unfriendly ghosts, as it is believed the “veil between worlds” falls the thinnest around this time, allowing those from the underworld to pass over and spread mischief. There are many ways to observe Samhain, but all combine a feast with family and friends and an honoring of dead loved ones.
All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows, honors all of the Christian Saints. After All Hallows, the tradition observes All Souls’ Day, celebrated similarly to Samhain in order to honor the dead. We also see these celebrations in Día de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated in Mexico associated with these Catholic holidays of All Hallows and All Souls’ Day.
Halloween itself was first celebrated in the 1500s, but was not celebrated throughout the U.S. as we know it until the late 19th century. We can immediately see the influences these celebrations have had on our acknowledged Halloween: dressing up in costumes, bonfires, the spooky beliefs of ghosts and creatures of the underworld, honoring the dead, and sharing candy with family and friends.
What are you and your kids dressing up as for Halloween? Share your Halloween costumes and traditions with us on social media -- make sure to tag us with our Halloween hashtag, #GetSpookyMadison.
And if you need any help with costumes… we got you!