Most of strange and bizarre traditions associated with Halloween, like wearing masks
and knocking on strangers' doors, probably came courtesy of the Christian
holiday Hallowtide, or Hallowmas. Hallowmas included All Saints' Eve, All
Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, and was a time for praying for the souls of the
Halloween arrived in the United States and Canada with the
Celtic immigrants of the 19th century. Ireland's potato famine sent immigrants
to North American shores, and their Halloween celebrations were at first viewed
as an ethnic oddity.
The term "trick or treat" appears basically
nowhere in books prior to the 1940s, when it suddenly skyrockets. Modern Halloween costumes descended indirectly from this European penchant
for celebrating with masks. Like trick-or-treating, the Halloween costume became
an American tradition in the 1950s, at
the same time as "trick or
The National Retail Federation (NRF) has been conducting its
annual Halloween survey since 2003 to see how Americans will celebrate the
fright and delight of this beloved autumn holiday.
More than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween
this year, spending an average $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34, said NFL. Total
spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of
NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights. The survey finds that 7 in
10 consumers plan to hand out candy, and nearly half will decorate their home
or dress in costume.
More than three million children will dress as their
favorite action or superhero, 2.9 million will dress as their favorite princess
and 2.5 million plan to dress as a cat, dog, bunny or other animal.
But Halloween is no longer just for the kids and those with
kids, and retailers can be a part of the action by helping consumers find
everything they need to enjoy a seasonal party.
There are a lot of stores in New York where you can by everything you
need for Halloween. This year I visited
two of them that are considered among top ten best shops for Halloween
in New York. These stores are in
East Village and are close to each other
, just 20 minutes by foot.
The first one is the
store with a very funny name
"Abrakadabra". Really strange
name, isn't it? The best-known use of
this invocation of late would be the “Avada Kedavra” or “Killing Curse” in J.K.
Rowling's popular magical fantasy Harry Potter book and movie series.
“Harry Potter, the boy who lived... come to die. Avada
Kedavra!,” screams Lord Voldermort in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
Look what Wikipedia wrote about the origin of the word. The word may have its origin in the Aramaic
language. The first known
mention of the word was in the third century AD in a book called Liber
Medicinalis. A physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla prescribed
that malaria sufferers wear an amulet
containing the word written in the form of a triangle.
It is impossible to
say now why this funny word was chosen
as a shop name 30 years ago when the shop
started on Christopher Street. In 2007 two
brothers Robert (Bob) and José (Joe) Pinzón's bought the shop and transformed this mom-and-pop shop into a
The brothers say they trace their roots to the Pinzón
brothers, who owned and captained the Pinta and the Niña, the two vessels that
escorted Christopher Columbus' Santa María in his journey to what later became
known as America
With Halloween approaching, the brothers are ready for an avalanche of orders and
customers of all ages.
kinds of people in New York, and it's not only for Halloween. There's all kinds
of crazy parties in the Hamptons, and Christmas. We are busy all year
long." , - said Bob.
Halloween Adventure was founded in 1981. There are only
three permanent locations - two in PA
and one in NYC, but over 40 temporary pop-ups that have now
expanded to Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The manager
Tony Bianchi first opened a temporary pop-up store in 1991 in New York and continued to open temporary pop-ups in the
East Village until 1996. The permanent home for
Halloween Adventure in 1996
in what used to be a World Gym at 104 4th Avenue. The store was expanded in 2004.
selection of prepackaged costumes and a huge children’s section are along with tons of accessories are
located on two floors. A visit to this
massive costume, prop and magic mecca can be overwhelming—luckily, the store
provides a handy map of its two-level space.
Both stores stays
open late in October, making this a good stop for the truly last minute costume.