To most it signifies dressing up, makeup, trick or treat. Probably pumpkins, with cut outs illuminated by candle, casting an eerie visage? Maybe a party, maybe a bonfire and fireworks?
I wonder how many revellers realise that many believe it is a night to remember the dead? Those martyrs, saints and believers who have passed on. Lighting candles is thought to attract their souls.
Of course, as with much that is ritualistic and ancient, there are other theories too. We simply cannot be sure.
We don’t need religious or historic events though to carry with us to the present day a misnomer or false interpretation of reality. Many of us do it with our own memories … and we were actually there when they happened!
Often a childhood memory lives with us. But often it is distorted, mis-remembered. It carries the understanding of the child. Parts of the actual occurrence are deleted, parts twisted to fit our childhood emotional need, parts simply forgotten in the story. Yet we run this edited inaccurate story throughout our adult lives. It holds us, trapped in a mythical past, caught in a story of fiction and we behave today as if it were true. We carry the remnants of the experience in the form of a broken relationship or a belief about ourselves that no longer serves. It was probably never true, but we made it so, and now we have run it as a video, or heard it as a story in our heads, so many times that we hold it to be a reality. It now controls us. Limits us. Makes us smaller.
Maybe we would be well served to honour it as dead? Just like the souls Halloween remembers? Maybe we would be well served to think of it as a myth, a fable, a misinterpreted story of long ago? Maybe we should move on and pay more attention to now?
Treat yourself, don’t trick yourself.
Look after your soul, not that of a long dead memory.