Death and Fruit
Well, fellow curmudgeons, I’m feeling a little more grouchy than usual this week, and I know why. Halloween—easily the silliest, most annoying, and least justified of holidays—is upon us. This year it falls on a Thursday, meaning it'll be going on all bloody week.
Having just done a bit of research for this week’s column, here’s what I now know about Halloween: It all started about 2000 years ago as a Celtic festival called Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of a dark, cold winter. Those savvy Celts believed this was a time during which the worlds of the living and the dead intermingled. To me, this sounds like a very good time to stay home, but instead, the Samhain rituals included a communal bonfire with animal sacrifices, a bit of fortune telling, and the wearing of animal heads and skins to ward off ghosts. The ghosts, you see, had a thuggish habit of damaging crops, and the Celts needed those to get through the winter, so . . . you see the need for the animal costumes.