Spirits, Spooks and Perlers: be marry for the time of Hallowmas is upon us once again. The origins of Halloween (All Hallows Day Eve) go back many centuries (so some historians would have us believe). While many cultures indeed have a harvest festival, Halloween is more than just that. One this day, it is said that the veil between life and the hereafter is whisper thin. Traditionally, it is today that the living may attempt to get advice from departed family. Not everyone wants a conference with the deceased and so they attempt to ward off the dead with carved squash, turnips and pumpkins. Halloween, as adapted by the Christian church, also has a strong mendicant tradition. Food, particularly pastries, are left outside for the “wandering dead,” (i.e. beggars). In the US after World War II, small towns hosted Halloween or Harvest festivals to keep mischievous youths occupied during the night most associated with vandalism. In this way, Halloween in the US became associated with children, rather than adults.
It’s been many years since I went out Trick or Treating. I do have fond memories of running wildly from house to house getting candy and terrorizing the other kids on the street. There is some weird element to this holiday that makes it my favorite time of the year.