Throughout the ages, people have been challenged by the rituals at the end of summer. Linked to pre-Christian practices, people throughout the world have celebrated in various ways. Christians connected by honoring holy people on All Hallowed Eve on Oct. 31. Eventually, it evolved to Halloween. Further, it was recognized as the eve of All Saints Day, celebrated on Nov. 1. Additionally, Spanish people connect with the Day of the Dead on Nov. 2 with celebrations.
During our childhood days, we were challenged to create the best, most original, or scary costumes to go out for Trick-or-Treat and collect all kinds of candy and treats. In my hometown, we got a head start on Oct. 30, by calling our venture Beggar’s Night.
As we escorted our children and grandchildren on the hallowed outing, we saw their transformation with contemporary costumes. “Star Wars” characters and superheroes moved ahead of witches, ghosts and skeleton creations.
Some of us remember days living in rural areas where we made Halloween more of a Horror night. Pranks and bad deeds are often shared by seniors to include dumping over outhouses, putting cow pies on a porch before knocking on the door at a farmhouse, and other mischievous antics. However, what was considered a playful prank later became labeled vandalism with costly and dangerous consequences.
With concerns for child safety and family protection, Halloween parties evolved to keep people off the streets. Good food, beverages, games, bobbing for apples and dancing replaced the old routines. After seeing all the fun that children were having, adults started having their own celebrations.
Challenges from religious groups that Halloween glorifies Satan were met with information and education. Big-time area attractions provide horror night haunted houses and horror movies to build attendance. Who can scare more people seems to be the standard.
Repeating century-old traditions and practices has given way to local cemetery ghost tours, and special effects-laden horror movies. Reading Poe literature such as “The Black Cat” at libraries, and generational events, where generations share the meaning of Halloween, All Souls, All Saints, and Day of the Dead together at a family fun gathering, are observed.
Boo! Have I got your attention? You’re challenged to check internet sources about hallowed and horror traditions. Remember: “Our Father, hallowed be thy name!”