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jjohn (22)

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Journal of jjohn (22)

Thursday October 31, 2002
07:12 AM

Happy Halloweenie!

[ #8697 ]

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.

Happy egging.

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  • Yup its that old pagan festival again. Stuff that x-tian rubbish about it being the day before something else - everybody knows this really about great big bonfires and the fear of a deadly winter as the days grow shorter and you have to rely on your harvest to make it through to spring.

    A few years ago I went to the Mid-Winter solstice at a pagan pottery in cornwall and met a variety of interesting pagans. great fun/


    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;
  • Salon has an article [] (a review of two books) about how many of our Halloween traditions (like many of our Christmas traditions) are not ancient at all, at least not in combination. For example,

    A woman named Doris Hudson wrote an article for American Home magazine in 1939 that, according to Skal, is "the first time the expression 'trick or treat' is used in a mass-circulation periodical in the United States."

    Some of the rowdiness and begging was earlier associated with Thanksgiving or Christmas but en