On this blog and in our genealogy newsletter, we frequently highlight traditions related to family life. Whether it's a religious or cultural holiday or a regular family activity, children are often at the center of the celebration. We want them to recognize a special occasion, to laugh or feel joy, and above all we want them to remember.
Halloween is one of those special traditions celebrated by children. The roots of this tradition are actually thousands of years old:
"Halloween is among the oldest traditions in the world as it touches on an essential element of the human condition: the relationship between the living and the dead. The observance evolved from ancient rituals marking the transition from summer to winter, thereby associating it with transformation, which is still a central theme of the holiday."
Living in New England, we are set up with an abundance of autumn colors, pumpkins, spooky trees, and even "haunted houses" (actually Victorian houses that look creepy on a dark autumn night) that help reinforce this autumn tradition. Our kids loved it when they were little!
While adults may direct the activities for a religious holiday or a family reunion or even a tradition like Sunday dinner, when it comes to Halloween, the kids are given responsibility.
They choose the costume. They may pick a route for trick or treating. They help carve and clean the pumpkin, or decorate a window or front yard. And while the tradition of older kids playing "tricks" seems to have faded, it's still a lot of fun.
This Halloween, we hope you can enjoy this tradition with your own children or grandchildren, or make it special for the neighborhood kids out trick or treating on Monday evening.