Halloween is an oft-misunderstood time of the year with steep traditions in Gaelic and Celtic lore (among others), conjuring imagery of our world’s veil being lifted and allowing for Aos Si and other remnants of pagan beliefs and nature’s spirits to walk among us.
For many, it is and was simply a time to celebrate the harvest and the cyclical nature of life and death. The Earth replenishes itself (and us along with it) with the death cycle that is necessary for new life to spring forth.
For others, it is and was a time to honor our departed loved ones, offering them a safe place to rest, if even for just one night, whether it be through the Christian traditions of All Saint’s Day and Hallowmas, the Wiccan beliefs of the festival of darkness, Sabbats, and the wheel of the year, or your own personal belief system.
For some, it’s a time of mumming and guising, now known simply as trick or treating, and going door to door in costumes to collect various treats and candy (and maybe even soul cakes and calaveritas), while being illuminated not by the turnips and mangel wurzels of the past, but with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns (which may or may not still represent spirits and/or ward off evil spirits).
It can be a time of fun and laughter, gathering with your friends and others in your community, and celebrating one of the United States’ (and the world’s) longest running and most popular holidays.
Thank you to Anoka, Minnesota and Salem, Massachusetts for embracing the heritage and history of Halloween and supporting it for so many years.