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Halloween in this country is a colorful festival to say the least but one that seems to strangely celebrate the opposite of everything good Its imagery promulgates death and horror and depicts haunted ghosts and evil witches flying off to commit malevolence Probably thats how all that toilet paper wound up on your trees Its practice sets flames inside of pumpkin heads and impels pranks involving soap decorates the halls with boughs of phony human bones and garlands of fake cobwebs and inspires parties based on the idea of hiding our real life personae inside of award-winning facades of hideous monsters mutants miscreants or vicious and brutal animals And a fairy princess shining knight teddy bear or silver screen idol or two for good measure And the other side of Trick is Treat where young children are encouraged to don the masks of our darkest side for the odd reward of massive quantities of unwholesome candies As happens with several of our holidays in the present age I have heard the question posed many times What DOES this MEAN It would seem that we fear these festivals might be dangerous or that we have lost all clues about our traditions But in each case I have examined I find not merely clues but copious material The library is a wonderful place Because my own ancestry is a nice blend of Celts from Scandinavia northern and north-central Europe and the Isles most of what Ive pursued has been on that pathway On this pilgrimage I have learned that Halloween is a seminal point on the ancient calendar Pastoral cultures divided their calendars according to the seasons of the year and heavily influenced of course by the weather - which lags behind the factors in
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