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Take a look around East Lansing and you’ll see falling leaves, carved pumpkins and scary decorations on the lawns. This can only mean that Halloween, an annual holiday celebrating fall events and elaborate costumes, is nearly here!

Halloween began as an ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) that celebrated the new year on November 1. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.

Later, the Catholic church would make November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The night before, October 31, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

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Americans love this spooky holiday! Most celebrate with traditions of visiting neighbors for candy (called trick or treating), dressing up as a favorite character and carving pumpkins with friends.

Many Michigan State students celebrate at costume parties and participate in hayrides- events where student organizations visit a local farm for wagon rides and a bonfire.

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(Source: Google Images)

Staying safe is especially important on Halloween, a holiday that many students and their out-of-town guests celebrate around East Lansing by having parties. Take a look at ASMSU’s list of “Need to Know Messages for Celebrating Safely” before you head out this weekend.

  • Travel in groups and stay with people you know and trust. Never leave a friend alone.
  • If yourself or your friend are in medical emergency, call the police or take them to the hospital! You or your friend won’t get in trouble even if you drink underage, according to the Michigan Medical Amnesty law.
  • Call 911 if you find a fellow Spartan in need or if you see anything suspicious.
    When traveling around campus and East Lansing, choose well-lit, highly traveled routes.
  • Lock your doors when sleeping or giphy1leaving your home or residence hall room. Never leave your valuables unattended. Know everyone who you let into your apartment, house, or residence hall.
  • If something does not seem safe, it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts. If you see something, say something! Text MSUPD along with your message to 274637.
  • Remember: No one is anonymous anymore. Think carefully before starting or joining in any kind of disturbance. Authorities review the news, online videos, and social media.

How to Celebrate? Most students commemorate Halloween by wearing costumes! Sometimes finding an outfit can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be. Take a look at this list of “Work Appropriate Halloween Costumes” to get started with some safe choices if you are not quite familiar with U.S culture references yet.

Cultures are not costumes. When choosing your costume, it’s important exercise good judgment. Avoid outfits that pose a threat toward individuals in the community, endorse stereotypes, or promote bias. Remember that costumes should not represent another cultural identity and it’s always safe to dress as a fictional character.

Other ways to celebrate inculde visiting a local cornmaze or haunted hause, carving pumpkins and watching scary or Halloween-themed movies. Some classic films include Hocus PocusThe Nightmare Before Chistmas, and ScreamTake a look at the East Lansing Calendar of Halloween Events to see what other activities are happening this weekend.

Stay safe and have a Happy Halloween, Spartans!

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