FURTHERMORE TELLS ALL (ABOUT HALLOWEEN, THAT IS)
I had a few minutes to relax recently, so I decided to drop down and see Furthermore, my Masonic pet raven brother.
The bird was in a festive mood.
He did a few pretty like loops and then settled to my shoulder. He was wearing one of those false nose/eye glasses combinations that made him look a bit like a warped Groucho Marx.
"What do you think," he preened, lighting a cigar from my humidor.
"Well, I think peace in our time is probably not a realistic possibility."
"Twit! I meant about my costume!"
"Funny. Very funny."
Furthermore can be very sarcastic when he chooses. Comes with being a raven, I guess.
Then it dawned on my convention-numbed brain. Halloween. Furthermore's absolutely most favorite holiday.
"Halloween!" I shouted triumphantly.
Furthermore, who is much more into tricks than treats, just cocked a feather-covered eye at me and sighed.
I think I'll let Furthermore take over from here. He loves Halloween. As you probably suspected. Anyway, what follows is Furthermore's Guide to Everything You Need to Know about Halloween. Take it away, Brother.
Halloween is a glorious holiday, providing untold opportunity to commit mayhem, harass the spirit world, and, in general raise the dead. In the interest of your continuing education, I'm sharing my wisdom and deep understanding of this remarkable event with you.
In additional to recording everything presently known about Halloween, I may even look ahead and say things that probably won't be said for years. Keep these remarks handy and you'll never have to read about Halloween again.
Halloween comes on Oct. 31. This is fairly well known and admitted by most. It is also wrong. The name actually comes from the following day, Nov. 1, which is All Saints Day or Allhallows or All the Hallowed Ones. Somehow, it got condensed to Allhallows Eve and, mercifully, to Halloween. All of which is pretty devious way to name a holiday, if you ask me. Which they did at the time. Of course, no one really listens.
In some parts of Ireland and Arizona State University, Oct. 31 is known as The Vigil of Saman. Saman was the lord of Death. Once a year, he would call together a group of really wicked souls and they would have one great party. I remember at one of them...No. That's another story.
Parts of Halloween are Druidical in origin. The Druids were an ancient religious sect located in parts of Britain and Gaul. They had the quaint habit of cutting out the still-beating heart of the sacrifice-of-the-month. While hoisting the knife, the Druid priest would look down and say, "Draeleom ex scrivenex?" Roughly translated, that means "trick or treat?" This custom has been handed down over the years with minor modifications.
The Druid ceremony also contained some of the characteristics of the Roman festival in honor of Pomona. Though why anyone would want to honor a college town in California is beyond me.
Here are a few others points of interest:
Witches do not ride broomsticks. They prefer BMW's, but will settle for a good used Chevrolet.
Jack-o'lanterns are made from pumpkins. They are lighted by candles, which usually burn better when the pumpkin's insides have been removed.
There was a time when small costumed children extorted goodies from neighbors and did not have to have the goodies examined by X-ray. That was, of course, a long time ago. There was also a time when larger children overturned outhouses, etc.
Adults carrying cocktail glasses and going door-to-door saying "Trick or drink" are frowned upon in most neighborhoods, unless you're in this neighborhood and run into Skip...
"I believe that's quite enough, Furthermore." Sometimes he gets started and just doesn't know when to stop. Not unlike some of the rest of us. Anyway, enjoy the upcoming holiday.