The day designated Halloween is a special date on the Wiccan calendar, being better known as All Hallows Eve. However, from a commercial standpoint, Halloween has taken on a party flavour, especially in the US with trick or treat for the kids and spooky horror themed fancy dress parties for the adults.
So lets take a look at what Halloween is all about and what it means for people.
Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat is a great load of fun for children and is an idea that grew up originally in the US as a way for kids in the neighbourhood to obtain candies and other "treats" by knocking on doors of their neighbours dressed in scary costumes and wearing similarly spooky makeup.
Of course, they were not always the recipients of treats, as if the person who had been roused to answer their door were of a mind to, they could play a trick on the kids and drop a rock, or a piece of coal into their bags.
Today, the trick or treat activity has been fuelled by commercialism to put parents under ever greater pressure to come up with the money to buy their kids the latest Halloween costumes in the stores. This is so that they can keep up with their peers, who are all haranguing their own parents for ever better and more costly outfits with which to outdo the other kids.
So it has become a kind of crazy "keeping up with the Joneses" race that no one wins in the end, except for the stores that sell the costumes.
Trick or Treat in the UK
In the UK, trick or treat has taken a similarly firm hold with fancy dress costume shops supplying all the latest superhero costumes, or scary vampire outfits or whatever is the flavour of the month to wrest ever more money from mum's purse in a crazy consumer nightmare that seems to have no end.
So spare a thought for the poor old parents of the sneering, grabbing little darlings that knock on your door on the evening of the 31st of October this year. And remember that the tables have been turned and its not the householders that give out the tricks any more.
If you don't give those little sweethearts their fiar share of treats, they're likely to throw eggs at your door if you live in a nice area. If you don't, you might even get rocks thrown through your windows! How nice.