You may be surprised to learn that I'm not a big Halloween person--just not into the whole celebration of evil that often accompanies Halloween. Quick history lesson (abridged): When Christianity came to the Celtic lands, the druids were celebrating a festival called Samhain which they tried to ward off evil spirits and such. Christians for a long time had honored those who had been martyred (eventually persecution became so widespread that people could no longer celebrate individual days, so they did it all in one lump sum). Celtic Christians had a way of redeeming things in the culture around them, so they decided that Jesus had already defeated evil so they moved their day of honoring the dead (All Saint's Day--then called All Hallow's day) to the same time. The day before was All Hallow's Eve(ning)--which got shortened to Halloween. This Sunday at church we're observing All Saint's Day--but that will probably be an upcoming blog.
Of course, we still had to let the boys have their fun. Anders was Luke Skywalker (it's actually a different costume from his Obi Wan costumer from last year); Nils was Yoda (Beth knit a hat and feet). Some houses got really decked out. But a lot of houses didn't do much. But Halloween seems to be a pretty big deal in some ways. The stream of trick-or-treaters was fairly steady (I guess people like the town house scene, because it's fairly safe and you can do a lot in a short time). Most were teenagers, but unlike in Pomeroy, Iowa, they all wore costumes and were in groups with parents with them. We've also heard more fireworks than we did in all of July (except for the big, civic-sponsored events of course). Our British-born, next-door-neighbour tells us that it's because of Guy Fawkes night on November 5 (but that's about all I know with that). My favourite part of the holiday is roasting pumpkin seeds.
Here's some of the next door neighbour kids with the boys. Trick-or-treat?