Halloween is celebrated each year on October 31 and is a terrific opportunity for adults, especially grandpas like me, to act like kids and carve a few jack-o-lanterns. Historically Halloween is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and scarcity, and life and death, Halloween is a time for fun and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off any roaming ghosts.
The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. Halloween began to lose its religious connotation in the 19th century and became today’s more secular community-based children’s holiday. Although the superstitions and beliefs surrounding Halloween may have evolved over the years, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, children of all ages still look forward to parades, costumes and sweet treats to usher in the winter season.
Many British Columbia communities have special Halloween events. If you are traveling the province this All Hallows Eve, check with your local BC Innkeepers Guild members for events in the area. Perhaps you’ll visit a corn maze with the kids or do the Monster Mash. However you spend the spookiest of nights, have a seance on me.