Halloween Traditions


Jaret Garcia, Staff Reporter

Halloween to some is one of the best holidays of the year. Dressing up as anything you want and being whoever you want to be while eating enormous amounts of junk food sounds pretty good to most people. Not only is Halloween known for the costumes or the treats but for the traditions that take place during Halloween. Some people celebrate Dia de Los Muertos also known as the day of the dead, to celebrate the life of family and friends who have passed on. This begins at 12:00 am on October 31st and will continue until November 2nd. Another tradition is pumpkin carving. A tradition that originated in Ireland found its way to the United States and has been a tradition for decades. 

Dia de Los Muertos can be traced all the way back to its earliest roots in the Aztec people in what is now central Mexico. The Aztecs used to use skulls to honor the dead. As time went on the yearly tradition continued to grow it also evolved. The earliest stages of this tradition were to honor those who have passed on and died with honor leaving a legacy to those they knew. In more recent times we celebrate the tradition by leaving pictures, lighting candles, and even leaving favorite foods of those who have passed. 

The origin of Jack O’Lanterns began centuries ago in Ireland. The story goes that there was once a man named Jack, whom town folk nicknamed “Stingy Jack” who was invited to have drinks with the devil. Jack staying true to his nickname asked the devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for their drinks. After the devil did Jack put the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross which prevented the devil to turn back into his original form. He let the devil out under one condition, Should Jack die his soul shall not be claimed by the devil and should not be bothered for a year. A year later Jack once again tricked the devil into climbing into a tree to pick fruit. Jack then carved a sign of the cross into the bark of the tree so that the devil could not come down until he promised not to bother Jack for ten more years. Jack eventually passed on and God did not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word in not claiming his soul would not let him into hell. He sent Jack off into the night with nothing more than a burning coal to light his way. Jack placed the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” which then became “Jack O, Lantern.”