Hal­loween cos­tumes orig­i­nally meant to scare away ghosts

The Colonial - - OPINION - Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

The last day of Oc­to­ber brings back mem­o­ries that will never be for­got­ten.

On OFW. 31, 1892, ArWhur CR­nan DRyOH firsW SubOLshHG “7hH AGYHnWurHs RI 6hHrORFN HROmHs.”

On OFW. 31, 1941, FRn­sWruFWLRn HnGHG Ln 6RuWh DaNRWa aIWHr 14 yHars Ln whLFh 400 wRrNHrs had carved 60-foot tall gran­ite like­nesses of four pres­i­dents on Mount Rush­more: Ge­orge WashLngWRn, 7hR­mas -HIIHrsRn, 7hHRGRrH 5RRsHYHOW anG Abra­ham Lin­coln.

BuW mRrH LmSRrWanW Whan aOO that is the ob­ser­vance of Hal­lowHHn HYHry OFW. 31.

On Hal­loween, if you want to send the kids out be­fore it gets dark, do so by sun­set which ocFurs aW 5:59 S.m. Ln Rur arHa whHn night creeps over the neigh­bor- hRRGs. .HHS Ln mLnG WhaW WhH OasW day of Oc­to­ber is one sec­ond shorter than the day be­fore.

,W Ls GLI­fiFuOW WR SrHGLFW whHWher it will be cold for “WrLFN-Rr-WrHaWLng.” ,I we look back over reFHnW yHars, Ln 2011 WhH tem­per­a­ture dropped to 35 GH­grHHs, Ln 2010 LW reached a min­i­mum of 39 GH­grHHs anG Ln 2009 a balmy low of 51 de­grHHs. ParHnWs wLOO haYH to de­cide whether their trick-or-treaters should wear a heavy sweater un­der the cos­tume.

The chances of rain arH mLnL­maO. OI Rur 12 mRnWhs Ln WhH PhLOaGHOShLa arHa, Oc­to­ber has the most clear days at 11.

Hal­loween was brought AmHrLFa by ,rLsh Lm­mL­granWs Ln WhH 1840s, buW LW RrLgL­naWHG sHYeral thou­sand years ago with the an­cient Celtic fes­ti­val of Samhain. This was a hol­i­day when the world that we are fa­mil­iar with and the su­per­nat­u­ral world seemed to in­ter­act with each other.

On Hal­loween, the souls of the dead re­turn to their homes hop­ing WR finG bRGLHs WR SRssess. It was thought that haYLng OargH bRn­firHs would keep the spir­its away.

The Celts lived in IreOanG, WhH UnLWHG .LngGRm, FranFH, PROanG, CHnWraO EurRSH anG nRrWhHrn ,WaOy. 7hHLr SrLHsWs wHrH WhH DruLGs anG, aW that time, the Celts would wear

to FRsWumHs anG bu­LOG hugH bRn­firHs maNLng saFrL­fiFHs WR WhH CHOWLF gods.

Hal­loween is an un­usual hol­i­day be­cause it hon­ors the dead. The pur­pose of the cos­tumes was WR sFarH ghRsWs away. AFFRrGLng to the Celts, on the night of Oct. 31, WhH ghRsWs RI WhH GHaG rHWurn WR EarWh. 7hLs Ls WhH OasW WLmH WhH dead can get some re­venge be­fore they move on to the next world. AOO WhLs was WaNLng SOaFH Rn WhH evening be­fore the Western ChrisWLan IHasW RI AOO HaOORws.

Hav­ing such an un­usual hol­i­day when the dead re­turn makes us won­der how many dead peo­ple have been buried on our SOanHW. EsWL­maWHs rHSRrWHG by WhH PRSuOaWLRn 5HIHrHnFH BurHau LnGLFaWH WhaW 108 bLOOLRn SHRSOH have lived and died on our planet sLnFH WhH firsW hu­mans wHrH hHrH.

AW SrHsHnW, 107 SHRSOH GLH HYHry mLnuWH, 153,000 GLH HaFh day and 56 mil­lion die a year. Sur­pris­ingly, 6.5 per­cent of all peo­ple who have been born are alive to­day.

It must be em­pha­sized that wars are re­spon­si­ble for huge num­bers of deaths. World War I rH­suOWHG Ln 37 mLOOLRn GHaWhs Ln­clud­ing both mil­i­tary and civil­ian, while World War II had a WRWaO RI 62 mLOOLRn WR 78 mLOOLRn deaths, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary and civil­ian.

Hal­loween marked the time when it was an end of the har­vest and the be­gin­ning of win­ter. AFWuaOOy, LW musW haYH bHHn YHry FrRwGHG hHrH Rn EarWh wLWh aOO those spir­its of the dead re­turn­ing. One may be left to won­der LI WhHy sharHG Ln WhH SrR­fiWs IrRm the sale of Hal­loween cos­tumes.

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