Happy Samhain to the Whole World!
What? The whole world doesn’t celebrate Samhain? Their loss. Although I beg to dither over the point. I think every culture has some kind of harvest celebration, which is what Samhain is, at its most basic level.
If it’s harvest, then why the scary costumes, ghosts, and zombies? I’m no expert, but my understanding of it is this:
In the Celtic tradition, Samhain is New Year’s Eve. It’s a time when the veil between spirit and flesh is thinnest. The spirits take advantage of this to wander around the Earth again. I guess there’s an idea that the spirits are not always kind, which is why people would wear scary masks, hoping the spirits would not bother them.
I wonder why there are no stories of humans taking advantage of the thin veil to go roaming around the spirit world. Perhaps there’s a book idea in that…
The mask thing evolved into full-scale costumes, just as the harvest dinner and sharing evolved into trick-or-treat. It’s also a good time to remember your loved ones who are no longer with you.
So today, I will put on my cat/witch outfit and drink pumpkin martinis. Yes, plural. I might have two. I’ll light candles and play my vampire music and that great Y2K Doomsday CD. I have pretzels to give away to the kiddies. We’re putting out the giant spiders and jack o’lanterns.