Halloween—the word we use—is a parse of “All Hollow’s Even,” from about the 1700s, Celtic in origin, and also known as “All Saints’ Eve.” In Mexico, this is “The Day of the Dead” or “El Dia de los Muertos.”

I’m no Halloween scholar—apparently there are experts out there—but I do know this is a harvest festival going way back and the evocation of witches and ghosts and death imagery has gone along for the ride.

Also the levity toward death, the mockery, the sating of children with candy and sweets and masquerades.

It’s kind of strange, when you think about it, but you have to realize the tradition stems from times far different than ours. So far different, it’s almost hard to comprehend sometimes.

In centuries ago, this was the time when food animals fattened up all summer were slaughtered and rendered for their meat. When crops nurtured all summer were scythed down and bundled up. When the darkness and cold of winter was coming, and people took stock of the harvest, fearing whether they’d have enough to get through the lean times ahead.

A fearful time for everyone, but especially for the children. And you must always give the children hope for the future. Even back then.

What to do?

Laugh at Death, mock Death. Put on a mask so Death won’t see you. Eat the sweets of the summer. Because who knows what the winter will bring?

So there you have it, my friends. Happy Halloween and pass the chocolate.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;

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