(Used under the Creative Commons license)
It is a holiday I have always enjoyed, not the trick or treating as much as the story behind this event. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day.
Samhain is a Gaelic festival held on October 31–November 1. The Irish name Samhain is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end”. A harvest festival with ancient roots in Celtic polytheism, it was linked to festivals held around the same time in other Celtic cultures, and continued to be celebrated in late medieval times. Due to its date it became associated with the Christian festival All Saints’ Day, and greatly influenced modern celebration of Halloween.
Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. It has some elements of a festival of the dead. The Gaels believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain; because some animals and plants were dying, it thus allowed the dead to reach back through the veil that separated them from the living.
(Information from Wikipedia)
For us, here in Big Sur, it means the traditional Bal Masque at Nepenthe to benefit our local Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. It is a wonderful time with incredible costumes, so enjoy, if you have a ticket, and if not – be quicker next year!