With temperatures rising and pool parties on the agenda, we’re hardly ready for thoughts of All Hallow’s Eve. But as any parent knows, when you have kids, deciding on a Halloween costume is never far from one’s mind, no matter the season. So when is Halloween anyway this year?
When is Halloween 2021?
For 2021, Halloween falls on the last Sunday of the month. Good news for kids eager to wear their costumes all day long. Bad news for parents who have to wake them for school the next day and endure their candy-coated hangovers.
History of Halloween
Halloween is a holiday celebrated every October 31. How it got its start is up for some debate, but one theory is that Halloween began as a Celtic festival, according to History.com. In order to ward off ghosts, it’s said that during Samhain, people would put on costumes and light huge bonfires to shoo them away.
As has often been the case in history, a pagan tradition was folded into a religious one when Pope Gregory III declared November 1 All Saints Day in the eighth century. This Catholic date was used to dedicate Rome's St. Peter's Basilica in honor of all saints. It’s considered a Holy Day of Obligation to practicing Catholics, though to a good part of the rest of the world, it’s celebration have been marked on October 31 with parties, jack-o-lanterns, and general merrymaking.
How to Celebrate Halloween
The obvious way to celebrate Halloween is to don a costume and go out trick-or-treating. But you can also pay homage to both pagan and Catholic traditions of yore.
A bonfire is a great way to give a historic hat tip to the Samhain people. Or you could take a page out of Mexican Day of the Dead or Dias de Los Muertos festivities by painting your face as a skeleton, constructing an altar to family members who have passed, or grave decorating.
Or, if you want to just resurrect some all American pastimes come Halloween, emphasize the trick aspect — a favorite part of the holiday for our Colonial ancestors — by pulling pranks on your friends and neighbors.
Just remember to keep it all in good fun. No one wants to be scared to death.