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Tonight is Halloween. Or Hallowe’en, if you’re a pedant about spelling. Or even All Hallows’ Eve, if you’re obsessive about religious history.
Traditionally, All Hallows’ Eve was the night preceding All Saints’ Day, the dark night when the ghosts of the dead – the “hallowed” ones – returned to earth. All Saints was a time to honour the dead; All Hallows Eve was, in a sense, their time to take revenge on us still-living souls by scaring the bejabbers out of us.
I don’t know anyone who still believes that the souls of the dead flit among us on Halloween night. But we still enjoy the dressing up, the parading door to door, the make-believe world of ghosties and goblins.
It’s a comforting kind of ritual, a dip into a warm bath of familiarity. These emotions cling, long after reason takes over.
Categories: Soft Edges
Tags: Rituals, Habits