An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Quell the usurpers!

With Halloween just past, and today being All Saints Day, it was brought to my attention a petition to the White House to move Halloween.

To a Saturday.

And I had to laugh.

Just yesterday I had to elucidate a couple of my day-job cohorts in the history of just what Halloween is, and tradition of dressing up the kiddies in whatever ghoulish outfits they so desire.

Halloween is a contraction of All Hallows Evening (E’en in poet-speak). It’s the Christian vigil leading up to All Saints Day, a night of prayer and reflection, culminating in the celebration of the Saints the next day (today, November 1st).

But the traditions and timing come from the Pagan calendar, falling on Samhain (like Christmas falling on Yule, and Easter falling near Beltane). When the Christians were converting the Pagans, they found it easiest to not change the dates of their celebrations, just tweak what they were celebrating.

Now Samhain is the change-over from the light months to the dark months, where the veil between the world of the living and the dead thinned and could be crossed. The belief was that the dead spirits would pass through the veil into our world, seeking hospitality. People would also go from house to house, “guising” in costume and reciting verse or song in exchange for food. It was thought that they were personifying the spirits of winter, who demanded reward in exchange for good fortune. Other traditions held that the spirits who passed through the veil were seeking the living to take back with them. Disguising the children was a way to shield them from the attention of the spirits.

And so now there is a completely secular movement to wrest Halloween, All Hallows Eve, completely away from the usurpation of Samhain to All Saints Day. How many people who celebrate Halloween even know of the connection to All Saints Day OR Samhain?

But since "it's for the safety of the children" it'll probably gain enough traction to get to the White House.

Ironic, tragic, and so ignorant.

And completely laughable.

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