Tonight is “All Hallow’s Eve”, the day before All Hallow’s Day, better known in America as All Saints Day. The ancient Celts believed that during Samhain, the celebration of the end of summer, spirits from the otherworld possessed the power to temporarily enter the mortal realm. Ghoulish costumes protected mortals, since they (hopefully) rendered them indistinguishable from other roaming spirits. The proximity of Samhain and All Hallow’s Day led to a traditional All Hallow’s Eve celebration in England. We celebrate it today with crazy costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating.
Here in the Bible Belt, if Halloween falls on a Sunday it is usually celebrated Saturday night (yes, even if trick-or-treating interferes with OU football). Nowadays my kids get at least three shots at trick-or-treating — Fall Festival at church on Wednesday night, “trunk or treat” at my wife’s work on Friday night, and neighborhood trick-or-treating on Saturday. It’s fun to remind them that when I was a kid, I only had one shot at it in our small town neighborhood.
Everyone had a great time …
… except for my five year old, who came down with a really nasty stomach virus just before we were about to go trick-or-treating. Naturally she lost everything in Mom’s lap, and the two of them stayed home while the rest of us went out for candy. I took her bucket along with us, and I think that she ended up getting the most candy because I told a pretty sympathetic story.
Anyway, happy Halloween to everyone, and good luck to those of you who will trick-or-treat tonight.
(PS – Those are our pumpkins for this year. From left to right, the work of my eight year old, my 9 year old, Mom, and my five year old. Of course Mom and Dad help with cleaning out the holes, but the kids do draw and carve their own pumpkin faces.)