Updated: Oct 25
All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Eve, or Halloween, is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31 (the eve of All Hallows' Day) to remember the dead. Influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, it was not until mass Irish immigration to the U.S. in the 1800s that Halloween became a major holiday, gradually becoming apart of our mainstream society.
By the turn of the 20th century, the fall holiday inspired many symbols, such as scarecrows, corn husks and carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns to ward off evil spirts.
Today, Halloween is one of the most commercialized and profitable holidays in the U.S. and has evolved into celebrations themed around horror, death, skulls, ghosts, monsters, haunted houses, black cats, and witches. Trick-or-treating and dressing up in costumes that represent celebrities, movie characters, historical figures, and people or things that are politically and culturally significant are time honored traditions during this time of year as well.
Ethnic and cultural appropriation, stereotypical, and downright racists representations of ethnicities has also seeped into the holiday over the years and given rise to discussions and movements that asked the question, is my Halloween costume offensive?
10 Alternative Things To Do On Halloween
Before we reach to buy candy to celebrate the cultures outside of ourselves, we encourage you to observe and study our own traditions first.
1. Calling close friends and family members you haven't spoken to in a long time.
2. Learning family recipes and languages.
3. Playing instruments and learning dances from Africa.
4. Learning natural remedies for healing.
5. Celebrating African inspired Kwanzaa.
6. Be proud of who you are and represent your sense of style and uniqueness wherever you go.
7. Studying ancient histories of the Orishas, ancient Kemet (Egypt), and more from Dr. Kaba Kabmene @Kabakamene.
8. Supporting your community in the buying of black-owned goods and services, like the largest marketplace for black owned businesses, We Buy Black.
9. Love yourself by speaking affirmations of positivity to yourself and your loved ones.
All I need is within me right now.
I am grateful for everything I have in my life.
Today will be a productive day.
I am inspiring people through my work.
Each and every day, I am getting closer to achieving my goals.
I am independent and self-sufficient.
I don’t compare myself to others.
My life has meaning.
I am constantly growing and evolving into a better person.
I have made mistakes, but I will not let them define me.
10. Take the time to nurture relationships between husband and wife, child and parent to build strong supportive, emotionally intelligent families to strengthen black communities.