This archived article was written by: James Justice
Straddling the line between fall and winter is my favorite holiday, it’s the holiday of horror and tradition, loss and gain, life and death, fact and fiction; it’s Hallowe’en (formally All Hallows Eve). For this editorial, I thought I’d write about my favorite holiday, why it’s my favorite, its history and how people across the globe, chose to celebrate the fantasy that is Halloween.
The word “Halloween” dates to about 1740, and it comes from a Scottish term for “All Hallows Eve”. In Scottish the word for “eve” is “even,” which when contracted becomes “e’en”. The term “All Hallows Eve” is seen in Old English starting in about 1550, but by 1740 they dropped the “All” and contracted the words “Hallow” and “e’en”, making the modern day term of “Halloween”.
For those who don’t know Halloween falls on Oct. 31, which is the eve of the Western Christian feast of the “All Hallows” or, All Saints. And it falls on the day that has been dedicated to remembrance of the dead, which include saints, martyrs and any of the “faithful” departed believers. It is widely believed that pagans started the celebration of “All Hallows Eve,” but recently the consensus of historians changed its belief to one where they now know the celebration has purely Christian roots.
Halloween is, hands down, my favorite holiday. When I was a kid, I was able to make silly costumes. Once I put on a suit and went as a serial killer, (they look just like everyone else.) Once I taped a protractor on my chin and I went as “Crazy Protractor Man, give me some candy!” (Okay, I stole that idea from Adam Sandler; it was a pretty good idea). And my favorite costume was when I was able to cover myself in fake cheese sauce, put on paper that looked like pepperoni, and I went as Pizza the Hut.
Different parts of the world celebrate Halloween differently. In most Asian countries they don’t give candy, but instead they give small remembrance gifts to the dead, to honor them. In the European countries they dress up, but most dress up as religious characters; they say prayers and make promises.
In Latino countries, people dress up much like we do in America. But, children in these countries sing, ““¡Triqui triqui halloween, Quiero dulces para mi, Si no hay dulces para mi, Se le crece la nariz!” (Tricky-tricky halloween, I want candy for me, if there’s no candy for me, your nose will grow!)
Halloween is the best holiday because; we get to be someone, or something, else for the night. We get to live a fantasy for one night, and that’s good all around.