Brits have been super slow on the uptake with Halloween and only by moving to the US do I in truth really get it and rather like it. In England there’s a flurry of activity on the 30th October in preparation for Trick or Treat then whoosh its over in 24 hours. Which in truth is what it should be …one dark and strange night with a lot of high jinxing.
Now in the US or certainly in NYC it all kicks off 1st October – suddenly it’s the Halloween Season which incidentally colour co-ordinates beautifully with Thanksgiving.
Talk about the future is orange!
Everything gets a honeyed/tangerine/glow and witchiness is in the air – of course the dark aspect falls away come November 1st and Thanksgiving hangs on to the orange hues but mixes it in with images of Turkey. Honestly it’s so much more interesting here in the Autumn. In the UK it’s a straight run in to Christmas and Chanukah with no distractions on the way, just relentless marketing on the part of desperate retailers.
Our distraction and an excellent one at Riverside is Richard House Hospice Annual Ball – which we’ll tell you about separately.
So back to the core topic! What the heck is Halloween – well thanks to Wiki:
Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of its original title “All Hallows’ Evening” also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31st, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows. Most scholars believe that All Hallows’ Eve was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots.
As they say Who Knew?
Further research shows that All Hallows’ Eve is also known as All Saints’ Day in the Christian Calendar -originating from a 7th century proclamation to remember all those saints that don’t have a special day of their own. Figures as there are clearly more than 365 Saints with occasional add-on’s. Traditionally in preparation for All Saints’ Dy the faithful would fast and pray in preparation for the feast day. And if you happen to be visiting Rome check out St Peter’s Basilica where there’s a dedicated chapel to all the saints.
So here’s the rub, hallowed means holy quite the opposite of all that Halloween brings to mind!
As they say WHATEVERRR we’re not going to let a little detail like that interrupt our costume prepping, pumpkin carving and general irreverence and a major excuse to do heaps of activities with children and the young at heart – enjoy!