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I want to describe an event that through the years has become known or popular, like the celebration of, say, Holloween for instance. We could say that Holloween became popular or (...) a long time ago.

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Hallowe'en was popularised a long time ago –  mjsqu May 1 at 9:40
    
Why not just celebrated? –  Jack Ryan May 1 at 12:06

9 Answers 9

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Halloween has been popularized outside of North America

1. to make popular; make attractive to the general public 2. to make or cause to become easily understandable or acceptable

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Outside North America, some of us use popularised :) –  mjsqu May 1 at 9:43

Consider "catch on," "take hold," and "take root."

Halloween caught on in America in the late 1880s.

Halloween caught on in America as Irish immigrants escaped Ireland's 1846 potato famine.

During the Victorian Era, the celebration of Halloween took hold in America and many of today's customs were developed.

When I read this article, I was quite happy to see Halloween has taken root in Russia.

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Just the right "flavor"! –  Gary's Student May 1 at 22:53

Prominent

having a quality that thrusts itself into attention

A word I know through my Scottish boss is kithe.

To make known; to manifest; to show; to declare.

And just a really common word we use for this is emerge|emergent.

become known or apparent

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Consider:

To spread:

  • to become widely seen or known;

The celebration of Holloween spread a long time ago.

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Notable. Notoriety is a great descriptor, but obviously connotes being known or famous for something negative...

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Renown:

  • a state of being widely acclaimed and highly honored.
  • synonyms: fame, celebrity, notoriety.
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Depending on the context, coming into the limelight may be appropriate.

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famed could be considered in this context

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How about memorable

Hence we may use "Halloween became a memorable event a long time ago."

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