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Halloween haunts many across the world

Stu Miller's pumpkin patch is crowded in San Marcos with people ready to purchase items for this years Halloween festivities. -Meredith James
Stu Miller’s pumpkin patch is crowded in San Marcos with people ready to purchase items for this years Halloween festivities. Photo: Meredith James/The Telescope

In some parts around campus you can begin to see the kiss of fall as leaves turn to orange. The smell of fall is beginning to grasp the air in the cold early morning, and the days beginning to end earlier.

With fall comes trick-or-treaters, goblins and ghosts and the spirits of the dead seem to come alive.

“Halloween is a day where everyone can be kids again. Even adults can dress up and eat candy,” Palomar student Margarite Martinet said.

Popularized by American culture, Halloween has been represented in many ways across the world. Also known as Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, the traditional celebrations can be located back to Mexico, with many similar celebrations all across the globe. The symbolic meaning in each culture relates to the spirits of the dead that are celebrated in either a positive or negative way.

In the Hispanic culture Day of the Dead is celebrated as a ritual to respect the presence of the dead, and to remembering them by creating alters which are dressed with sugar skulls, marigolds and the favorite foods of the departed. Graves of loved ones are respectfully visited and dressed to honor the dead. The Hispanic celebration starts Oct. 31 and ends Nov. 2.

Far across the waters the similarities of Celtic tradition in Ireland and Scotland take place on Oct. 31 following into All Hallows Day on the first of November. The popular tradition which was influenced by Celtic harvest festivals known as Samhain (SAH-WIN) dates back 2,000 years. The belief was that spirits would come back from the dead as ghosts and peace offerings would be left on doorsteps to keep ghosts at ease. Citizens would even dress up as ghosts to be purposefully mistaken by the spirits.

As the tradition was lead into the 21st century many changes took place to make up what is known today as Halloween. And with the holiday right around the corner Palomar students are starting to prepare for their fun this Hallows Eve. Around campus faulty and teachers have begun to garnish the campus with totems of creative Halloween spirit. Pumpkin buckets with candy in the Admissions office and caution tape with stickers dress the entrances to classrooms.

Touched by the past memories of Halloween, Palomar Freshman, Josh Lawson, shared what deeper meaning Halloween has for him.

“Halloween was mostly about friends and family. I moved here a few months ago and we’ll find out if I build new traditions. Halloween to me is a night where people express their darker side, and everyone else can have fun.”

Traditions are all around us this October as students reflect upon their respective culture and dress up as their favoite ghouls. Like every holiday, college is the perfect place to build new traditions year round.

The research for this article was acquired from the History channel website.

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