The Tiger's Eye
Halloween 101Friday, October 30, 2009 By J.Ruzek
October 31 st has come again. A time for witches and ghosts, for werewolves and vampires, for mummies and zombies. My eyes see the laminating jack-o-lanterns and my ears hear the sweet cry of “trick or treat”. I taste the bland flavor of stale candy corn and smell the roasting of glazed pumpkin seeds. What does this mean? Where has itcome from? Halloween, as we know it, has revolutionized into one of our guiltiest pleasures and has brought joy and praise to this once Pagan celebration. Dressing in Halloween costumes became popular several hundred years ago in Europe. The people of this time period believed that evil spirits of the dead came to earth on this sacred day. October 31 st is that special date. This is the one day of the year that marks the time between summer and winter-also the old and New Year. Many believed the boundaries from the spirit and human world were very thin thus allowing revenge-seeking phantoms to enter and roam our world more easily. In fear for their safety, the ones that would leave their homes would wear masks and other forms of clothing in hopes the supernatural beings would mistake them for fellow spirits. This is the reason some of the most popular costumes are those of ghosts, ghouls, and other cynical and deranged creatures. Our celebration of “trick or treat”dates back to old parades in England called “All Souls’ Days”. Beggars from the city would hassle the citizens for food, supplies, and other crucial items. The people would give them small treats called, “soul cakes”, but only under one condition. The ones that were given the pastries had to promise to pray for the dead relatives of the distributer(s). This process evolved into what we know now as trick or treat, and is a crucial process in the creation of modern day Halloween. The true nature of Halloween brings out fear, yet happiness every October. Whether you fear the presence of black cats, masked crusaders, the stickiness of cob webs, or the repulsive snicker of witches, and find laughter and lightheartedness behind bobbing for apples,dressing in prosthetic wigs, and gingivitis, then Halloween will fulfill your every desire. Unfortunately, when your fun is over, you know it can only get better on that special night in October.