As with any other parts of the world, Halloween is celebrated with much pomp and glory in Canada as well. The festival signifies that night of the year when, as per the ancient Celtic beliefs, the dead and the deceased rise from their graves and mingle with the world of the living. The festival is celebrated on the 31st of October and is considered to have originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian All Saints’ Day. The major activities during the festival are ‘trick-or-treat’, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions and so on. The many customs of the festival were introduced to the people of Canada by the Irish and the Scottish, who migrated to the region during different periods.
One very important aspect of Halloween celebrations in Canada comprises of decorating the homes, yards and garages. Some people even go to the extent of building life-sized replicas of caves and graveyards. Apart from this, people organize themed parties, like spooky animal party or alien costume party, on Halloween, which are equally enjoyed by both adults and kids. Some of the major activities in such parties inlcude reading horror books, playing amusing Halloween games and watching spine-thrilling terror stories. In Canada, Halloween is not a public holiday and people continue with their chores and routines in the daytime and have fun at night.
Some schools and organizations in Canada arrange parties and distribute sweets and other confectionaries, on Halloween. In the afternoons, one might come across children dressed in ghoulish attires wandering around the neighborhood seeking treats from people. Mentioning about treats, a major custom observed during festival all over the world is the ‘trick-or-treat’ tradition. In this, kids wander from house to house seeking ‘treats’, like sweets and candies. They also give an idle threat to the house-owners that they will perform mischief, if they are not given the treat. Normally, they receive the treats even without asking and threats are rarely being carried out.
On Halloween, special contests are held, like the popular pumpkin carving contests, marathons and pumpkin art tours. Many schools also organize such games to raise funds and help poor children all over the world gain basic primary education. Among the many other organizations, the activities of UNICEF are worth mentioning in this aspect. Halloween is celebrated by Canadians amidst fun and merry making. Scrumptious meals are prepared in every house and this includes apple pies, pumpkin pies, and roasted corns, different varieties of breads, candies and cookies. A special type of beer, called Halloween beer, is prepared by adding pumpkin and spices to the mash prior to fermenting it. This can also be availed from local specialist stores.