By Rosie Moore

The sidewalks will soon be filled with goblins, ghosts, and ghoulish costumes, worn by children and adults.

Whether you like it or not, many play at being scary. The sad fact of the matter is Hallowe’en is actually scary–in real life, in this day and age.

When I was young, we would gather our paper bags and go from door to door, squealing “Trick or Treat.” Usually we traveled on the streets in our own neighborhood. Sometimes our parents would go with us, especially with the little ones, but most of us went with a group. In our classroom at school, Halloween parties were the norm. We would dress up at home and walk to school in our costumes. There were candies and cookies and prizes for the funniest, scariest costumes. etc.

But, oh no! Not today! Ghosts and goblins are not allowed in schools. I don’t really know, of course, what goes on in schools today, so I asked my grandchildren and they said, yes, they have parties, but no costumes. Quite a few don’t even celebrate Hallowe’en at all.

Let’s have a look at how Hallowe’en came into being. Many, many years ago it was a time of celebration and superstition. It was thought that it originated with the ancient Celtic festivals of Samhein, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

(Samhein marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year).

It wasn’t long until the custom went world-wide. In the 19th century it became popular in America but was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Later, there was a move to mold Hallowe’en into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks, and witchcraft.

When the Roman Empire conquered the majority of the Celtic territory they organized a festival in late October to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits and trees.

The symbol of Pomona was the apple which explains the tradition of “bobbing” for apples.

The holiday is mainly for the young. It is drastically different these days. I am not against change if it’s for the better, but some of the changes today bode no good.

Especially be careful of dressing like a clown. I mentioned this before but some of the clowns of today have done an about-face. Beware! Have a safe and happy Hallowe’en!

Thought for the day: Not everyone who wanders is lost. Anonymous

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