The thing I find interesting about Halloween in it's current form, is, Regardless of religious and political affiliation, that one can play at being someone or something they are not; that one can put on a face that they otherwise couldn't have and say things they couldn't utter. In this age of censorship, privacy, sue happiness and general butt-hurting, there should be a holiday in which slander law does not apply and anyone can say anything they please as long as it is in jest. It would be called All Jesting Day and people can politically let loose and be brazen about the absurdities of the material world! does anybody have any other ideas?
Historically the Halloween customs we have today are rather old. The dressing up and Jack-O-Lanterns come from Ireland where they believed spirits and demons wandered on Samhain [Halloween] night. The lanterns are from a tale about a man who tricks the devil a Bing of times and when he dies he's forced to wander the earth with a coal from hell in a hollowed turnip to light his way. People would dress up and put carved turnips outside to prevent being taken away by the spirits.
Skip ahead to the 1900 in America and you have children if Irish immigrants in costumes causing havoc [egging house, kicking over mailboxes, typical Halloween pranks] and to stop them, home owners began leaving out candy as a 'don't vandalize my house' bribe. Skip ahead to today and we've got Halloween.
Regarding 'All Jesting Day' I think it's a combination of 'April fools' and not wanting to be called out when you say something offensive. I agree some people can't take a joke, but many jokes are frowned upon for a reason; they're only funny if you demean a group of people. There's a difference between comedy from another's pain [a la Three Stooges] and pointing out old stereotypes that cause pain. While I do think offensive humour can work [Russell Peters, George Carlin] it's much harder than people think.