I grew up with the understanding that Halloween or All Hallows' Eve was the night when souls trapped on Earth are given one last chance at revenge. Creepy, right? And that's why we dress up, so we're not recognized just in case there's a vengeful soul after you. Then the next day is All Saints' Day, November 1st, when the souls of the recently departed are celebrated, so it's like the light after the dark. It all got twisted up a bit and turned into young kids asking their neighbors for candy, teenagers using it as an excuse to engage in toilet papering, egging, and other delinquent behaviors, and an excuse for adults to act like kids and play dress up. All of which I am a fan of, well except for the delinquent behavior because...well, because I'm turning into an old foggy and that is just blatantly wasteful and destructive behavior. But apparently Halloween also has pagan roots. Festivals in Rome and Ireland, celebrated the end of summer and, in Gaelic tradition, it was a time when spirits or fairies could slip into our world more easily and when the souls of the dead came to visit their families. This is similar to the Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico, but their festival last three days: All Hallows' Eve (October 31st), Hallowmas (November 1st), and All Souls' Day (November 2nd), and can be traced all the way back to the Aztecs! Alters are built to honor the dead and are covered in offerings including food, drinks, marigolds, and those beautiful sugar skulls. There are also similar festivals all over the world including Asian and Africa. How fun is it that there are so many different, but similar traditions! However you celebrate Halloween, delinquent behavior aside, have a wonderful night!