Yoga, Breath, Light, Love
New England had an early surprise snow storm on Saturday, October 29th that dumped a foot plus of snow and left hundreds of thousands of homes without power. The power outages lasted from several hours to 6 or more days.
One of those days was Halloween and most of the NH towns affected by the power outages rescheduled the holiday. Some towns had it as scheduled on Monday night, some picked Saturday night and others picked Sunday night – the following week…after the clocks had been turned back…when it was really, really, dark outside. And cold. On Sunday from 5 – 8. During football, Sunday dinner and that wonderful time spent before the new work week starts. And, a school night!
Me? I would have called it off. You heard me…BOOhumbug!! I mean, we aren’t talking Christmas….or Thanksgiving….or even somebody’s birthday party. It’s just Halloween for crying out loud. Where parents spend money on costumes and candy and people’s home are invaded by kids begging for candy with an implied threat of “tricks” if the don’t get “treats”. Really??? “Give me candy or I will…egg your house…..toilet paper your house….or worse. In fact President Obama was worried about the White House getting egged because the First Lady wanted to give out healthy snacks. And while the Prez was just kidding (at least I assumed he was) the implication says it all.
Here’s a brief description of Halloween’s origins taken from http://www.pitara.com/discover/5wh/online.asp?story=62.
In 834 A.D., Pope Gregory III shifted the festival of All Saints Day, then celebrated on May 13 to November 1. The new day was called All Saints Day or Hallowmas. Thus, the evening and night before it became All Hallow’s eve and later Halloween.
The Celtic concept of ghosts and witches became blended with Roman and later Christian customs. In Ireland and Britain, Halloween was also celebrated as Mischief Night when villagers were allowed to play pranks on each other.
Traces of the Roman Pomona festival such as ducking for apples in a tub of water still survive. Another is the use of hollowed-out pumpkins lit by candles in the belief that it would ward off evil spirits.
Today, Halloween is a festival of fun for kids. An occasion to dress up as little monsters, ghosts or witches. Over time the custom of adults dressing up as demons changed and the children took over. As they went from house to house they would knock at each house and cry “trick or treat”. People would then give the children apples or buns and later candy to keep from being tricked.
However, since the 1960s, various crimes have been committed during Halloween. There have been cases of candy laced with drugs.
Other incidents such as older children attacking younger children to steal their candy, or children finding razor blades or pieces of glass in their treats have also been reported. Increasingly parents and local police and administrative officials issue safety tips for children when they go trick or treating.
Is it me, or does it just not seem a worthwhile holiday? Halloween eve, I opened my front door and discovered a candy filled bag filled with a hand written note that said you’ve been “BOOed” and those light sticks that prevent kids from getting run down by all the cars driving their kids from house to house.
My initial reaction was hmm…that’s nice..that is until my husband and grown son with 2 children yelled “Step away from the bag!” “You have no idea where it came from or if it is poisoned or laced with drugs, razor blades etc”. To which I replied, “Darn…and I was about to give it to the kids and enjoy a piece myself”. Sad, isn’t it?
Which is my point… we make a big deal out of this holiday and spend tons of money and we are not even sure if the candy we get/give is safe. And yet when Mother Nature gave us the opportunity to cancel it….we went out of our way to make it happen anyway.
We actually had kids come to my house who didn’t even bother putting on costumes. They just rang the bell, said trick or treat and held up their pillow cases. Good thing hubby was passing candy out because I would not have been able to force myself to give teenagers candy just because they came begging on a night where it is sanctioned!
What do you think? Am I a Halloween Scrooge??