New York City’s Halloween traditions include the Village Halloween Parade and the Jackson Heights Children’s Halloween Parade.
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Monday, November 2, 2020 The Catholic day for tending family graves was blended in Mexico with Aztec traditions into the Day of the Dead
Thursday, October 31, 2019 JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens ~ New York City’s biggest Halloween children’s parade marches down 37th Avenue
Thu, October 31, 2019 GREENWICH VILLAGE, NYC ~ All you need to march in this fun parade is a costume on Sixth Avenue
Halloween in New York City
In October, Halloween stores pop-up all over New York City. Shop early because the stores are packed right before Halloween. We like New York Costumes on Broadway in Greenwich Village. It’s a superstore New York style and there all year long.
[Editor Keith] Tell you a personal story. My first year in New York City, I was afraid to go out on Halloween. I thought those “tough” New Yorkers would just eat me up. The next year my wife and I braved the Village Halloween Parade. We never saw so many wildly creative costumes or such a happy, fun bunch of people in our lives. It was amazing and worth going every year.
All you need to march in the Village Halloween Parade is a costume. The Jackson Heights Children’s Halloween Parade in Queens is great fun too.
So don’t be afraid. Halloween in New York City is really fun. [We don’t know what the year of COVID-19 will bring.]
Halloween developed in Europe from a blend of Celtic, Roman and Catholic traditions. It’s the night when those who have died in the past year cross over into the spirit world. That’s where we get the idea that spirits are out.
Meanwhile fall harvest festivals developed in what is now the United States. Irish immigrants brought their European traditions to New York City. It all blended together into the Halloween celebration we know today.
But people around the world and across time do similar things – because we are people. Ancestor veneration is common across the Indigenous Americas.
Aztecs and Mayans in what are now Mexico and Guatemala kept family bones in the house. The idea is that you live as long as someone remembers you. So families remember their loved ones. You could always have a conversation with grandma and in a way she was always watching over you. It wasn’t scary or evil. That’s a colonizer interpretation.
Colonial priests were freaked out by the people’s traditions so they steered people towards their own All Souls Day tradition. In Central America this became Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). There are versions of this across Latin America.
In Mexico, U.S. costume and face painting traditions blended with Mexican traditions into the Day of the Dead celebration that is now loved globally.
We are all blends of each other.