Another Halloween is here. My European pre-Christian ancestors believed this day was the fall harvest celebration. After a hard year of farm work, the winter was on its way and people had the food they needed to get by until next spring.
This was also a day for many early European pre-Christian religions that believed souls of the dead could cross over from the nether world and walk among us. Jack-O-Lanterns decorated homes to keep out unwanted evil spirits. Scary masks served the same purpose.
When Christianity came to Europe, the early Christian Church attacked the older religions as “pagans” and some early religious officials were burned as “witches.”
Today kids trick or treat and adults go to parties. Both like to dress up as something either scary or some person or thing they find interesting. We get to pretend we are someone else. One thing that is interesting to dress up like past revolutionaries. This year I decided to dress as Pol Pot. A few years ago I dressed as Joseph Stalin. We don’t need the costumes to scar away evil spirits, but for me it is just a tradition and a fun one.
I carved a pumpkin, will hand out some candy, and go to a party. I like good scary movies and songs, as the ones below. -សតិវ អតុ
Happy Halloween (or Samhain as some people like to call it)!
Pix from Eric Odell.