The Monday ‘Boos’

UC, WNY prepare for Halloween

Union City and West New York residents are pulling out their Monday best in preparation for every kid-with-a-sweet-tooth’s favorite holiday: Halloween. The holiday takes place this year on Monday, Oct. 31.
Some have taken the traditional route and decorated with seasonal pumpkins, colored corn cobs, and scarecrows (whose actual scare factor is debatable). Others have ransacked their seemingly endless basement storage spaces and hauled out absolute arsenals of spookiness, from giant blow-up skulls filled with flying bats to yards and yards of acrylic cobwebs.
This is, perhaps, one of the only times when dusting falls free from the daily list of household chores.

This is one of the only times when dusting falls free from the daily list of household chores.
Halloween has not always been the brightly-colored candy and costume extravaganza it is today. Over 2,000 years ago, the Celtic people held a festival, known as Samhain, the day before their new year began on Nov. 1. The new year was not a happy time for the Celts—it marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of a cold, hungry season heavily associated with death. In fact, the Celts believed that on the evening of Oct. 31, the divide between the world of the living and the world of the dead disappeared entirely.
As the custom spread, other cultures added their own touches. They burned large bonfires, sacrificed animals, and wore the pelts as disguises. Colonists brought All-Hallows Eve to America, and the practice of feasting and trading food began as immigrants fled the famine of their former countries and discovered the bounty of their new land.
Combine all of these traditions, mix in a healthy dose of capitalism and an obsession with sugar, and modern-day Halloween is born.
Do you want your house and its decorations featured in the newspaper? Send a photo to and put “West New York/Union City Halloween” in the subject head.
Gennarose Pope may be reached at>

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