Halloween Wasn’t Always About Candy
Modern Halloween comes from the Irish festival, Samhain. Samhain was the occasion that marked the passage from the summer harvest season to winter. Ancient Halloween rituals included bonfires built in fields to distract fairy spirits from lurking in homes or affecting the farm harvest. People would make carvings on vegetables, specifically turnips, and line the roads next to the gates with lanterns. The lore was that the lights would guide the way for travelers and any passing fairies.
Modern Halloween, Pumpkins and Lore…
Halloween celebration in modern America—although a few remnants remain like lanterns and carved pumpkins—bears little resemblance to the ancient tradition. The modern Halloween holiday as we know it, didn’t take off until Irish and Scottish settlers immigrated to America in the 1800s. According to History, the carving of rudimentary vegetables eventually became Pumpkin carvings. Although the exact date of the first pumpkin carving is not known. Says the History website in its article titled, The Halloween Pumpkin: An American History
In 1866, the children’s magazine ‘Harper’s Young People’ reported that ‘a great sacrifice of pumpkins’ had been made that for that year’s Halloween celebrations. By the 1920s, Halloween had been embraced throughout the United States. Parties and costumes became the norm, and “trick or treating” soon followed in the mid-1930s.
Spooktacular Events in Conejo Valley
For organized Halloween festivities to enjoy with the kids in Conejo Valley, choose from some of the most popular local events below:
- The Trunk or Treat party at the Agoura Hills/Calabasas Community Center on October 31stfrom 3-5PM. The event is free to the public. Take your dressed up munchkins trick or treating to a trunk show by participating local businesses including Fire Engine 125 from Station 68.
- The Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District will host a Community Halloween Carnival “Fright Fest”at Camarillo Community Center Park, 1605 E. Burnley Street, on Halloween night from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Trick-or-Treat Village, Carnival Games, Costume Contest and much more.
- Oak Park’s 8th Annual Indoor Halloween Carnival at the Oak Park Community Center, 1000 Kanan Road, on Thursday, October 31st from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Only $2 for ages 2 and up and $1 for under age 2. Parents are free when accompanied by children. An evening of games, attractions, food and prizes, the carnival is held indoors and costumes are encouraged. Attractions include a Trick or Treat Village, Face Painting, Game Booths, Food and Prizes.
Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet…
For those parents who want to enjoy traditional door-to-door trick or treating, safety issues are always a concern. Halloween is almost as popular as Christmas. The collection of trick-or-treating candy closely rivals that of Christmas Day presents under the tree. Parents of course for this reason, want to indulge their children in the fun and festivities, without neglecting safety.
In Southern California, there are some beautiful, family-oriented neighborhoods that are at least the safer bet. The upscale communities of Calabasas, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Thousand Oaks are great choices for your little princesses and cowboys. The neighborhoods in these communities are well lit with home lots fairly close together. This makes the trek easier on little legs and parents can park without fear while accompanying Junior or Little Miss door to door. And as an added bonus—and this is the best perk in my opinion— you can do a little scouting for your next dream home purchase!
Happy Halloween from Westlake Village Realty!