Are you ready for Halloween? If not, maybe the following will put you in the mood.
Did you hear about the guy who went to a Halloween party disguised as a dump truck — and got loaded? Well, brace yourself. Party night is just around the corner. This year, the party idea will start with this revelation: “Look! Halloween is on a Friday! I have a great idea. Let's have a Halloween costume party! We can all dress up in character. It will be great fun; like re-living our childhood.”
Have you heard that one before? Depending on your point of view, it’s either a great idea or an event you definitely want to miss. Whenever Halloween falls on a Friday or Saturday, it seems to become more of a “party” night for “older” ghosts and goblins. This usually results in forcible dressing up in some sort of costume with which to dazzle your friends. It’s a fine idea if you’re into dressing up like a vampire, a witch or Rob Ford.
But for those of us who are not costume crazy, we prefer it when Halloween falls on a Wednesday, making it kids’ night only. The adults supervise and try to talk their kids out of some of the really neat candy, but basically have weekday duties to attend to, so the costume party idea doesn’t get a chance to rear its ghostly head.
With October 31 on a Friday this year, it will be party night for some, along with the usual excitement for the kids, plus the added bonus of not having to get up for school or work the next morning.
Did they party in the old days?
Yes, they did. At least, they partied in the style of the times. You have to remember that it was a long, long time ago that all this tradition began, so some of what originally went on was not very tame.
One of the many versions of the origin of Halloween comes from England. As the story goes, on October 31 in ancient England, the Druids alledgedly observed “Summer’s End” with human sacrifice, forecasts of the future, and prayers. Spirits were thought to be lurking about in the night air as the sun was beginning its downward course into winter.
The end of summer was a little depressing for the people of those bygone days — not unlike the feelings we have today — but thank goodness we leave out the gory stuff.
Later on, as the years flew by, all this tradition gradually changed a little and became Hallow E’en — still with the ghosts and goblins, but with the addition of gaiety and hijinks. Apples played an important part in the Halloween festivities with apple-bobbing and ducking for apples. Traditional Halloween fires and fireworks emerged from an ancient custom in Lancashire where country people tried to help the souls of friends in purgatory by lighting fires and throwing on burning straw with pitchforks.
Hmm, well, I told you it was a long time ago.
Did they have Halloween jokes in the old days?
Probably, although I doubt if they were any better than these:
• What position does a monster play on a hockey team?
• How do skeletons like their potatoes?
• What is a ghost’s favourite type of show?
• What would you get if you crossed a St. Bernard with a zombie?
A dog that buries itself.
• What would you get if you crossed a ghoul with a cow?
A ghost beef sandwich.