Saturday, October 9, 2010


All Hallows Eve. The night of ghosts and goblins and witches and black cats and haunted houses. The night when spirits from the afterworld are said to come back to visit the earthly realm. A night rooted in pagan mythology and old Celtic religion.

And, my favorite holiday, that is, right after Thanksgiving. (Turkey and pie and friends and family and no gifts or proscribed religious services -- what holiday could be a better than that? Well, if you are a kid, perhaps one that comes with lots of candy.)

I think Halloween was my favorite holiday as a kid. My siblings and I would start thinking about what we were going to "be" for Halloween as soon as the leaves started turning color in the autumn coolness of the East Coast that descended every year in early October. We didn't buy costumes back then; we made them ourselves, from our parents' discarded clothing and whatever scraps we could scrounge for props from the garage or attic.

It appears that Halloween is a very popular holiday, at least in my San Jose neighborhood, if front yard decorations are any indication (especially fake spider webs and tombstones). In fact, according to the press, Halloween is second in popularity only to the Christmas holiday season, at least in terms of money spent. Who would think people would spend so much money on costumes, decorations and candy?

I guess Halloween is as good a reason as any to throw one heck of a party.

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