Have you ever done something just because someone told you to without knowing the reason behind it? And then a bunch of other people are baffled at why you would do the thing that you did and question you about it? And you tell them it’s because someone told you to? And then someone sarcastically asks you ‘Karl, if so-and-so jumped off of a cliff, would you do it too?’ Except, instead of the name ‘Karl’ they use your name and instead of saying ‘so-and-so’ they say the name of the person who originally told you to do that thing?
Well you shouldn’t have to go through this ever again! I want you to be able to answer confidently next time someone asks you whether or not you would jump of a cliff after someone, either ‘No, I wouldn’t. That’s completely asinine and ridiculous. I’d be following them to their demise.’ Or ‘Yes. I absolutely would jump off that cliff, because you know what? The reason that person jumped off of the cliff is because the canyon below is filled with soft, delicious marshmallows!’ Make sense?
So Halloween…what gives? We pretty much know why we have all our other holidays. For example The Fourth of July is when we celebrate the invention of gunpowder. On Thanksgiving we celebrate John Smith and Pocahontas organizing the first ever game of American football between the Pilgrims and Indians (FYI, the pilgrims won this game on a last minute field-goal, which ended up as a blessing in disguise because this was well before the implementation of overtime, and consequently the game would have ended in a tie and the Indians probably would have never taught the pilgrims about corn or anything. Also, this game happened before the discovery of the pig, so pigskin could not be used for the ball. This was the reason that a live turkey was used as the first ever football. The pilgrims deep-fried and ate this turkey in celebration of their victory. Joe Paterno, current coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, earned his first ever win as coach of the pilgrims that day). And Valentine’s Day was a result of an effort during the Great Depression to create jobs for florists (unfortunately, although jobs were created and flower sales were boosted, jolting the economy, it also sparked what some historians have dubbed the Really Great Depression and resulted in a rash of suicides among young single men and women all over the country. On a side note, the Really Great Depression led to an increase in production and ticket sales of Amanda Bynes movies). But what do we know about Halloween? Well, almost nothing. But let me shed what light I can on the subject.
Halloween supposedly marks the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half of the year. According to science, this is because of planetary rotation and the position of the earth in relation to the sun. But before we had science, all we had were crazy, unfounded theories. This is how Halloween came to be. As the light half of the year turned to dark, one day was allotted for spirits to roam free (This is all true. Straight from Wikipedia). The only way to be sure you were safe from the spirits was to dress up as one of them. This is why I usually dress up as Superman. I'm man enough to admit that I wouldn’t last two minutes in a fight with that guy. Plus he’s got those shifty eyes, what with his X-ray vision and all. Could be looking at anything.
Anyway, dressing up to ward off spirits slowly evolved into dressing up in order to scare people into giving them food or some sort of ‘treat’. If the person had nothing to give you, you could perform an act of mischief to that person’s house. In the late 1800’s, this practice of ‘Trick-or-Treating’ resulted in the first ever toilet-papering. (To all the 3-11 year olds who are avid readers of this blog: The next time someone gives you a toothbrush or just leaves an empty bowl with a note in it on their porch, you should feel free to bust out one of their windows or something. It’s all just part of the tradition).
So that’s Halloween in a nutshell. I hope you all learned something new and helpful. And remember to be safe out there. Happy Halloween!!!