Halloween: It's Not Just for the Dead Anymore!

12:56 PM Elizabeth Seckman 0 Comments

Happy Halloween!

I'm not a huge Haloweenie kind o' girl, but it's still a cool holiday. I mean come on, it includes chocolate! Anything that includes chocolate gets a thumbs up.

From everything I've read, Halloween is one of the oldest holidays. Ancient Celts celebrated Samhain (pronounced sow-en) at the beginning of fall. According to legend, early pagans believed that the close of summer meant the final harvest...of both crops and souls. They would dress up to hide from the spirits wandering the earth in search of the nether world.

To secure a loved one's safe journey to the other side, poor children who begged at doors were offered cakes and treats in return for their promise to offer up prayers for the dead. Handing out 'soul cakes' became a tradition and since the children would be out walking among the restless dead, they would hide behind masks so no spirit could trick them into following them into the beyond.

And these children would carry carved turnips filled with embers as a lantern. Swapping a turnip for a pumpkin? That was an American upgrade.

And Jack O Lanterns? That can be credited to Jack of the Lantern. According to Irish folk lore, there was a stingy man named Jack who liked to dally with the devil. As the years passed and Jack's time on earth was coming to an end, the devil came to collect his soul. Jack asked the devil to have a drink with him before he went and the devil agreed. They shared a drink, then Jack admitted he had no money and requested the devil change himself into a coin. The devil agreed, but Jack dropped his Satan coin in his pocket...next to a silver cross. The cross made it impossible for the devil to change back from a coin.

Jack bargained with the devil, he'd move the cross for another year. One year later, the devil came back and Jack talked him into climbing an apple tree for the plump fruit. Once he was up the tree, Jack carved a cross in the bark, trapping the devil yet again. This time he made the devil promise to never take his soul. When Jack died, he was banned from heaven and couldn't go to hell, so he wanders the earth carrying his turnip lantern.

Recent history reveals a holiday of fun with the darker edges blurred  to a fuzzy happy orange with smiling witches and  happy goblins. But this night of fun has grown into a billion dollar industry world wide. And it's not just the kiddies looking for tricks and treats...adults seem to be using the holiday as an opportunity to swap sweets for spirits and street clothes for street walker clothes*.  For fun I googled adult costumes and wasn't at all shocked to find:
~the Playboy bunny- the classic 'pay me, I'll get naked outfit' IS the sensible attire for fall
~ the blazing hot fire girl-  stiletto boots and fishnet stockings? I'd laugh, but it does come with an ax, so that makes it genuine, right?
~Little Red Riding Hood- for the woman who wants to attract pedophiles. I guess that sort of bait and   switch is a public service.
~the 80's chick- hey I was an 80's chick and I don't ever recall worrying about exposing my thong

There were plenty more, but I had to stop at the 'sexy hot sweet bikini' and wonder why not just write "I'm a tramp*" on a tee and save $49.99.
And among the hundreds of slutty girl costumes, I found him...now he's classy.

Have a Happy Halloween, be you tramp or candy seeker. :)

**Last year I read Linda Sands' (author of "Not Waving, Drowning") blog  post "Halloween is for Tramps" and now I can't look at the holiday with a straight face. Thanks Linda, here's a free blurb.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGY5ZqFsdn0


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