Midwestern culture boasts some identifiable (and even sometimes laughable) characteristics. From an appetite for all things deep-fried to our friendly demeanor, to our tendency to say gym shoes rather than sneakers, the Midwest has some solid qualities that make anyone born and raised in the region proud to call it home.
In that same vein, it cannot be denied that Autumn in the Midwest is one of the best times of the year, and if you’ve lived here long enough you know that Halloween remains one of the most anticipated celebrations. Read on to learn what many of us already know–that Halloween in the Midwest is actually the best.
It’s full of fields
That thing we often complain about the Midwest is actually a gift during the Fall, as farms and fields galore means there is ample room for picking pumpkins, exploring mazes, and engaging in other outdoor activities that get us ready for the penultimate holiday.
The weather is unpredictable
In the Midwest, fall weather can be a true whirlwind. There’s no telling if it’ll remain in the crisp temps come October or whether we’ll be fully descended into winter by Halloween. But in this case, the unpredictability can actually be a win-win. If autumn qualities remain intact, colorful leaves pepper the Halloween traditions–but if winter winds come through and branches are bare, there is a spooky ambience added that, despite the chill, can be appreciated.
Irish immigrants settled in the Midwest–bringing Samhain with them
In the 1800s, Irish settlers were among the Northern European groups that brought Halloween traditions to the United States–a holiday known as Samhain [sah-win]. The ways in which our culture has shaped the holiday to what it is in America today has its roots in the Midwestern region, where many of the Irish settled.
Self-reliance and hard work are Midwestern values–enter ‘trick or treat’
Going door to door asking for candy is more than a silly tradition–it’s also a rite of passage for youngsters. To enjoy the sugar rush of Halloween, one must earn that candy by plucking up the courage to ask for it. Even with a parent or older sibling by their side or waiting at the sidewalk, trick or treating is a fun lesson in responsibility and ownership–and if that isn’t Midwestern, I’m not sure what is!
The mix of urban and rural creates the best setting for fun
Halloween festivities range in their scope, meaning there’s something for everyone. If you’re more inclined to grab some culture and attend parties with a range of clientele, heading to a major city–like Chicago or Milwaukee–is within your grasp. If you prefer hometown celebrations, spooky farm haunts and the like, staying in your suburb or driving a few miles in any direction is just as easy.