Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the United States, originating in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon England as the festival of Samhain. As the fall season comes, people start to think about what to “become” and what to wear for Halloween costumes. According to Dr. Jason Parker, a senior lecturer in the Psychology department at Old Dominion University, people enjoy being scared due to psychological causes. It first “raises adrenaline and endorphins,” which leads to a sense of accomplishment in overcoming fear. Although a person feels scared in certain moments, it later creates bonding as an emotion. The process is interconnected since emotions change as the action changes. When one is sad and starts crying so hard, it leads to laughter because the person finds the situation “funny,” which creates the emotion of happiness. This psychological phenomenon is strongly related to Halloween, and it is one of the reasons people enjoy being scared.
Moreover, scary movies prepare people for handling dangerous situations. Because viewers are in a “safe environment” unlike characters they watch in horror movies, they are able to plan their actions if they were to face something similar to the characters. It allows them to control their emotions and think about the strategies and solutions from the character’s perspective. They learn how to deal with those situations through the movies.
Halloween also allows people to be whatever they want. It is the only opportunity in a year to dress up as someone else. By being another person, they are able to carry off the burden in their life just for the holiday. It is time for their dream to come true and to enjoy themselves, covering up reality including academics, work, religion, etc. This gives them a chance to connect with many people as well. Since Halloween is a holiday that everyone can enjoy, people gather around and learn about each other. They even meet new people and have a chance to make new friends.
The holiday also has its own color–orange. This color hugely influences its custom. For example, pumpkins are one of the main symbols of Halloween. They are all over town, and many restaurants create special, limited food or drinks related to pumpkins or Halloween colors. Also, since Halloween is on Oct. 31, which is the middle of autumn, people are surrounded by red, orange, and yellow leaves. As people decorate their houses and environment with specific colors and characters such as skeletons and pumpkins, they produce a Halloween atmosphere.
The unique traditions and colors of Halloween encourage people to be engaged and enjoy the holiday. The time of the season, specific movies, and all the decorations create a special, enjoyable atmosphere in each town and country. Dressing up together and spending time with family and friends make the holiday invaluable. As it is a holiday for both adults and children, many people are excited about Halloween every year.