The Best Thing That Happened This Week: All Hallows’ Eve

You might know it better as “Halloween” …

Photo by Retales Botijero via Getty

In the Western Christian calendar, the final day of October is All Hallows’ Eve, a.k.a. All Saints’ Eve, a.k.a. Allhallowtide. Traditionally, it marks the start of the section of the liturgical year dedicated to remembering saints, martyrs, and departed loved ones, more generally known as “the dead.” In ancient days, it was believed that at this time of year, as winter comes storming in, the souls of the dead return to Earth from wherever they’ve been hanging out and cause trouble for the living. Nowadays, we normally mark the occasion by dressing up in strange outfits and going door to door to beg for goodies in return for not playing nasty pranks on our neighbors, in the practice known as “trick-or-treating.” This year, of course, everything was different, because … well, because everything is different this year. Some of us worked up elaborate means of distributing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups remotely; others of us just tossed Skittles down off the porch — or, worse, turned all our lights out and hunkered down out of sight. A lot of us have a lot of Twix bars left over. (Come on by!)

In these enlightened times, we scoff at our superstitious ancestors who quaked in fear of demons and ghosts and other figments of the imagination. But with a momentous election looming, it was worth remembering as we commemorated All Hallows’ Eve that there are things we should be very, very afraid of, and then there are the bogeymen. Don’t let the bogeymen distract you. Hope you had a Happy Halloween!