As the humidity dissipates and the temperatures begin to decline, Destin’s local community begins to get ready for a festival filled season of events and family-fun. One of our favorite holidays of the season is of course Halloween! We can’t get enough of trick-or-treaters, carving pumpkins, endless bags of candy, and all things Spook-tacular! Everyone is familiar with what we call Halloween today, but did you know that Halloween is over 2,000 years old?

It all started with the ancient pagans of Europe that would celebrate a festival called Samhain on the 31st of October. They believed that every year on that night all those who passed on would come back to visit. To welcome their long gone family and friends, they would prepare food and drinks and then leave the goodies out on their door step as gifts to stop the ghosts from entering their home.

Now here’s where the story takes a familiar turn- If the pagans would dare to leave their house on that night, they would done themselves in costumes and cover their faces with masks so the ghosts would not recognize them and dismiss them as ghosts. Once Christians arrived in Europe, they changed the name of the festival to ‘All Hallows Eve’ but the old pagan traditions never died out completely. In the 1800s, Irish immigrants brought the customs to America and our modern Halloween was born.

We aren’t the only ones who celebrate Halloween; in fact several countries around the globe have their own variation of the holiday- In Mexico they celebrate ‘Dia de Muertos’ which in English is ‘Day of the Dead’. They believe that those who have passed on get permission on this day to return to their families and Mexicans will build shrines in their homes and decorate loved ones graves with treats- a custom which can be traced back thousands of years. In England, the holiday is known as ‘Mischief Night’ and is basically a night for teens to play planks and set off fireworks. The Philippines celebrates with a more traditional form of Trick-or-Treating in which people go door to door draped in white and ask for prayers instead of candy. Americans still celebrate Halloween more than anyone else in the world, spending $6 billion every year on candy and costumes and over 50% of Americans decorate their front yards for Halloween.

If all the hocus-pocus of the holiday scares you, not to worry- There are many ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t have to be spooky. Grab mom and dad and take a trip to the local pumpkin patch! This can be a lot of fun and a great picture opportunity to share with family and friends. Once you pick out your favorite pumpkin, bring it home and get ready to decorate it- you can carve out a face and use the extra pumpkin filling to make a pie or you can try getting crafty and try painting your pumpkin.

Now that your pumpkin is ready, it’s time to really get in the spirit of Halloween! Give all the trick-or-treaters a reason to visit by decorating your home with lights, cobwebs, and anything else you can get your hands on. Lowe’s Home Improvement has a wide selection of inflatable décor, we even saw a Despicable Me Minion in a costume as part of their available display!

William-Sonoma Halloween Moon Dining Collection $24.95 – $74.95

Why not kick your night up a notch and entertain your friends with a Costume party! Everyone loves an excuse to show off their costume and it’s a great opportunity to showcase your cooking skills. What would a Halloween party be without equally ghoulish décor? Whether you’re serving creepy canapés or devilish sweets, you’re sure to bewitch guests with William-Sonoma’s festive Halloween moon collection which displays an observant owl and airborne bats which keep a careful watch over the scene. They offer tons of themed candies and cookies which are sure to delight any and all guests.

What better way to get in the mood for Halloween festivities than coming to Destin Commons’ Annual Halloween Haunt? Join us October 30th from 5PM – 8PM for a kids & dogs costume contest and trick-or-treating at 7PM. Registration for the costume contest opens at 5PM and the judging begins at 6PM so don’t be late! You won’t want to miss this!

Want more Halloween? Check out our Pinterest board ‘Trick or Treat’ for more inspiration and lots of costume and decorating ideas to celebrate!


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