Here in New York, we take Halloween seriously! Something happens the last day of October as you meet kids and grownups all over the city in their Halloween costumes. It's not rare to see a number of Spidermen, Captain Americas or Darth Vaders commuting around. The entire city is transformed into a giant costume party, decorated with monsters, spider webs and piles of jack o’lanterns. People are very creative when it comes to funny costumes, but you can also choose the easy solution, as there are pop-up shops with Halloween gear all over the city throughout October.
Last year, we went to Brooklyn Heights and enjoyed the nicely decorated brownstones with their steps filled with pumpkins. The kids got to do their trick-or-treating. It was a big success and, of course, they got more candy than they would be able to eat in a year. A good thing is that you can sell your Halloween candy to many dentists here in the city, who send it to the soldiers in Afghanistan.
Jimmy Kimmel has a very funny recurring skit each year about kids and their trick-or-treating, “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy”. I highly recommend you look it up!
Irish immigrants brought the Halloween tradition to New York when they came here in the 1850s escaping the potato famine. In ancient Gaelic times, it was a harvest festival called Samhain, during which people drank uisce, or fire water, and believed that the faeries came out of their mounds. When early priests brought Christianity to Ireland, they found that the tradition died hard, and so created a holiday on that day called All Saint’s Day — or All Hallow’s Day. The Irish stubbornly kept their pagan traditions of merriment alive on All Hallow’s Eve. The faeries would still escape fairyland, and now they are accompanied by all the monsters, superheroes, animals and cartoon characters one could imagine.