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Happy Hallowe'en
Hallowe'en is October 31st. The Hallowe'en customs that we observe on October 31 had their beginnings long, long ago. They came from the beliefs of the druids - priests of ancient Gaul and Britain.


The druids believed that witches, demons, and spirits of the dead roamed the earth on the eve of November 1. Bonfires were lit to drive the bad spirits away. To protect themselves further from the mean tricks of the bad spirits, the druids offered them good things to eat. They also disguised themselves so that the spirits would think the druids belonged to their own evil company. Surely the spirits would not harm members of their own group! Or so the druids thought. And thus we celebrate Hallowe'en by playing trick or treat, dressing up in cortumes, and wearing masks.

The name Hallowe'en is Scottish in origin and is short for "All Hallow's Eve," the night before "All Hallow's Day," or All Saint's Day. That day was set by Pope Boniface IV to honour the Catholic saints, and also to replace a Roman pagan festival of the dead which had been held in late February, the end of the old Roman year.


This is Hallowe'en!

Goblins on the doorstep,
Phantoms in the air,
Owls on witches gateposts
Giving stare for stare,
Cats on flying broomsticks,
Bats against the moon,
Stirrings round of fate-cakes
With a solemn spoon,
Whirling apple parings,
Figures draped in sheets,
Dodging, disappearing,
Up and down the streets,
Jack-o-lanterns grinning,
Shadows on a screen,
Shrieks and starts with laughter
This is Hallowe'en!

See also
Canadian Holidays

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt