All my life, I have loved Halloween. I’m calling it now:
Halloween, with all its tacky, kitschy goulishness, is the
best holiday. It’s a legit time for just having some ol’ fashion
fun with pranks and mischief-making. Halloween is the only
time kids AND adults can be silly, juvenile idiots and get
away with it. And for those who are into a little history
here is an abbreviated version:
Today is All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween. The modern
holiday comes from an age-old tradition honoring the
supernatural blending of the world of the living and the
world of the dead. Halloween is based on a Celtic holiday
called Samhain. The festival marked the start of winter
and the last stage of the harvest, the slaughtering of
animals. It was believed that the dark of winter allowed
the spirits of the dead to transgress the borders of death
and haunt the living.
Eventually, Christian holidays developed at around the
same time. During the Middle Ages, November 1 became
known as All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day. The holiday
honored all of the Christian saints and martyrs. Medieval
religion taught that dead saints regularly interceded in the
affairs of the living. On All Saints’ Day, churches held masses
for the dead and put bones of the saints on display. The night
before this celebration of the holy dead became known as
All Hallows’ Eve. People baked soul cakes, which they would
set outside their house for the poor. They also lit bonfires and
set out lanterns carved out of turnips to keep the ghosts of
the dead away.
Credit: The Writer’s Almanac
I drove by this display of Halloween silliness yesterday and
made me stop and smile.
Happy Halloween, fall has officially begun.