Depending on who you ask, Halloween is a yearly celebration that either honors the dead, or flat out worships evil. Many believe Halloween is a pagan rite dating back to some pre-Christian festival among the Celtic Druids, which split from the mainline Pagan groups over dogmatic changes and a particularly contentious game of Monopoly. Some schools even ban it outright so as not to offend the one Jehovah witness who cannot celebrate. And hey, even the Catholics are starting to get involved.
I'll leave all that for the alien anthropologists that explore our post-apocalyptic planet to decide. What I want to talk about today is the practicality of celebrating this holiday in its present form on the last day of October.
When I was a kid, I recall the majority of Halloweens growing up as being cold, dark and rainy. As in sucky weather for trick-o-treating, which was the sole motivation for it being my favorite holiday. I'm not even sure I thought if it as a holiday in the true sense of the word. I just knew I liked scary things and getting free candy. Think how disappointing it is to a kid being told that you cannot go trick-o-treating because it's freezing cold outside and raining cats and witches.
And when I got to be an adult (not to be confused with Grown Up) I learned that Halloween equaled parties with lowered inhibitions. Those who celebrate Samhain -- pronounced "sah-win" or "sow-in." -- consider it a liminal time, when the veil between life and death grows thin. I considered it a time when the odds of me scoring improved greatly.
It's always too dark and almost always too cold on Oct. 31 for a proper celebration. At least half of the costumes are concealed by winter coats. And the historical associations with Halloween are by now so tangential to the actual date that moving it would offend few sensibilities.
I don't know about sensibilities since people seem to get their panties in a bunch about lots of stupid things. I'm not even sure who we ask to change this! I read somewhere that Congress and the President have changed Thanksgiving throughout the years to suit their needs. Soembody get on this right away...you got until next year to fix it.
Happy Halloween, All Hallow's Eve and Samhain!
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