Ghosts and Witches and Bats, Oh My

Originating in Europe as an evening of celebration before the Christian holiday, All Saints Day, European immigrants brought their Halloween traditions to America during the first colonization. Due to religious reasons, Halloween was typically observed in just the southern colonies. That is until the potato famine in Ireland brought Irish immigrants and their Halloween traditions over to America, such as bobbing for apples, costumes and other festivities. Originally, there was more of an emphasis on the spooky side of the holiday, but America took to the more lighthearted side of the holiday, making it what it is now. The fun and games of Halloween were celebrated by many, but this turned to mischief and pranks in the 1920’s.

Anoka, Minnesota was the first city in America to officially hold a Halloween celebration that successfully diverted kids from causing destruction. The city put on a parade, hosted games, provided treats, and had a bonfire.The weeks of planning that went into the event, paid off. Kids were participating in the festivities instead of vandalizing the city and cow tipping, which was customary to this particular city. To this day, Anoka still puts on an elaborate celebration to live up to the self-proclaimed title of the “Halloween Capital of the World.”


The traditions and holiday grew into what we know it as today. Halloween is now the second largest commercial holiday in America. From spooky stories and movies, to getting dressed up and trick or treating, Halloween remains a large melting pot of traditions carried over from many different countries in Europe.

Cypress College holds its own Halloween celebration called the Pumpkin Bash. The Pumpkin Bash is a community outreach event that provides things like candy, spooky mazes, and festive activities for children. Held on the 30th of October, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the associated students aim to host a fun party with costume contests, games, prizes, and free food for all. This year’s Pumpkin Bash theme is Beetlejuice. All are welcome to come carry out the Halloween tradition underneath the piazza between the CC Complex and the Fine Arts building.


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