Every year on October 31st people in many parts of the world celebrate Halloween. As an international student studying in the United States for the first time you may wonder what this holiday is all about and how you can celebrate it. For those who are not familiar with Halloween, here is an introduction to Halloween traditions in the US.
Because of many popular American movies, perhaps one of the most widely known way to celebrate Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and go around knocking on houses, calling out “trick-or-treat!” and receiving candies from the adults who lives there. While “trick-or-treating” is generally for children, many grownups still dress up in fantastic costumes and decorate their house to look scary for the children who come by.
Pumpkin carving is another popular tradition. Each year starting in early fall, supermarkets and pumpkin patches start selling big orange pumpkins all around the US. People buy these pumpkins to carve different faces on it to create a Jack-O’-Lantern. Many college campuses and schools will hold a pumpkin carving event, students can try their hand doing it themselves or just watch the wonderful creations made by others.
Theme parks and amusement parks often hold special events during this time. One of the best in the nation is “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios parks in Los Angeles California and Orlando Florida; with Hollywood level production, they create some of the scariest haunted houses around. Students studying at nearby universities like at Full Sail University in Florida and University of Central Florida can easily visit during their weekend.
Keep in mind that Halloween is not an official holiday; your classes are still going to be in session! So remember to go to class, if you are lucky you might even see one or two brave students walking around on campus dressed like a zombie!