Friday, October 31, 2014

Avoiding Modern Art On The Asphalt

I remember the Salem days!
As the years have passes I have become less and less a fan of the morbid sugar filled celebration that fills this frigid evening. And, as I have said before, while I have a number of memories about this evening when growing up, I can’t recall ever anticipating this day with much fervor as many of the people around me. It was always more of an excuse to be out late at night and get a big bag of candy… given my size when growing up that carried much more weight than it should have. However, one thing I do remember is not being an idiot like many of the kids around me by running into the street despite the headlights.

Over the years, both in my maturation and my growing devotion to my faith (albeit in a variety of different ways), the minimal enthusiasm that I had for the day has dwindled to the point of complete indifference to the day. Honestly, the most that I have celebrated this day is in the words that I have written on this blog and looking up the history of the day on Wikipedia. For those of you who are also curious, here is a little bit of that listing:

Halloween or Hallowe'en, a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening", also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows' Eve, or All Saints' Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It initiates the triduum of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers. Within Allhallowtide, the traditional focus of All Hallows' Eve revolves around the theme of using "humor and ridicule to confront the power of death."

According to many scholars, All Hallows' Eve is a Christianized feast initially influenced by Celtic harvest festivals, with possible pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic Samhain. Other scholars maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has solely Christian roots.

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related "guising"), attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted house attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although in other locations, these solemn customs are less pronounced in favor of a more commercialized and secularized celebration. Because many Western Christian denominations encourage, although most no longer require, abstinence from meat on All Hallows' Eve, the tradition of eating certain vegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of apples, colcannon, cider, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.

So, for those of you that enjoy this day (especially the night) have a blast. Just don’t dart out into the street without looking as I have already come too close to making modern art on the asphalt in recent years. As for me, I think I will wait for Purim to dress up and ask strangers for candy.