Happy Halloween!

Showing this picture to a few online groups, I learned that Halloween, our version, is a somewhat “American” holiday.

Today is also the feast day of St. Wolfgang of Regensberg, AKA The Almoner. He had a good reason for throwing his ax into a thicket, and that’s another topic.

In the (Roman Catholic) liturgical year, Allhallowtide starts today. It’s a three-day thing: All Saints’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day.

I’m not sure why some folks get upset over this holiday. Maybe it’s the scary, and occasionally disturbing, costumes. Or the arguably-unhealthy opportunities to eat too much candy. Or maybe it’s where some Halloween traditions apparently came from.

I don’t doubt that my Gaelic ancestors, and their Welsh neighbors, brought some of their pre-Christian customs over here. It’d be odd if they didn’t. The autumnal equinox is important to quite a few folks, my ancestors included.

Some seasonal traditions, like divination games, are not good ideas. “Game” isn’t the problem. “Divination” is, no mater what day it is. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2116)

I’ve seen ‘adult’ costumes that are in dubious taste, and that’s a topic for another post.

But getting upset over jack-o’-lanterns, Christmas trees, or Easter eggs? I don’t see a point to that. On consideration, I could complain that my Norwegian ancestors are disrespected, because lefse isn’t part of the traditional Thanksgiving menu, but that would be silly.

Then there’s the notion that evil runs rampant tonight. More than usual, that is.

I’m not happy about destructive behavior on any day, but found this interesting:

No fear, crime stays normal on Halloween
Elizabeth Rembert, The Daily Nebraskan (October 28, 2016)

“Despite what some may think of Halloween’s relation to increased criminal activity, University of Nebraska-Lincoln police department’s daily crime logs from the past 10 years show that crime on the last day of October is actually below average.

“Oct. 31 has an average of 4.7 reported crimes, a number hovering just below the daily average of 5.2 in the same amount of time.

“UNLPD Captain Jerry Plessel said while daily averages of all crimes may be lacking on Halloween, statistics do indicate an increase in intoxicated persons and minor in possession charges….”

Back to Halloween here in central Minnesota — I can’t, or shouldn’t, eat candy these days. But I can enjoy seeing families having fun this evening, and I rather like the look of most jack-o-lanterns.

I hope you enjoy Halloween, too.

More of how I see faith, culture, and getting a grip:

About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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