Ghost, goblins, jack-o’-lanterns, costumes and candy are all symbols of Halloween, a holiday children in many countries observe. In the United States it is celebrated each year on October 31. Festivals, parties and trick-or-treating all create the fun and sugar-high collection kids accumulate from mall stores handing out candy to neighbors dispensing treats into plastic pumpkins and Halloween bags.
Each Halloween, moms are busy helping the little ones select just the perfect costume. Ballerinas, cowboys, politicians, celebrities, witches and others adorn the night landscape as little munchkins go door-to-door in search of sweets.
Houses are decorated with carved pumpkins, spider webs, ghosts and witches. Spooky lightening and scary music, haunted houses and carnivals all contribute to the fun of the holiday for kids, and many grown ups as well. Parties, and traditions such as bobbing for apples, have existed for decades.
According to some historians, Halloween had a religious beginning and trick-or-treating did not become a widespread practice until the 1930s. The first U.S. printed appearance of the term was in 1934, and the first use in a national publication didn’t occur until 1939. Haunted attractions in the United States, many operated as fund raisers by philanthropic organizations, bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year, and draw some 400,000 customers.