No, you are not confused. Today is not Thursday but you are receiving this week’s edition of Thoughts for Thursday a day early. Although I offer “thoughts for Thursday” each week, hopefully they are good for any day of the week.

Thursday evening the streets will be filled with many ghosts and goblins. Children will go from door to door in their neighborhoods and shouts of “Trick or Treat” will be heard. It has become an annual tradition to dress up in costumes and go from house to house expecting to receive treats. There is a thinly disguised threat when treats or not given but it is seldom acted out.

Spirit Halloween, the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in North America, suggests that Halloween costumes are largely influenced by significant cultural moments. The first-ever “Pop-Costume Index,” illustrates the intersection between pop culture and popular costumes during the past three decades.

Their data shows perennial favorites to include Princess Leia’s famous gold bikini which debuted in 1983 and continues to be very popular 30 years later. Another very popular costume is the ultimate “bad guy” Darth Vader. Batman and his counterparts – Robin, Catwoman and The Joker – were top costumes in 1989, 1992, 1997 and 2008. Pirates of the Caribbean helped pirate-themed costumes become a Halloween favorite in 2003. The Avengers were the crowd favorite in 2012 when their movie came out.

Twilight’s overwhelming popularity in 2009 resurrected a Halloween costume classic -vampires. I suspect the success of The Walking Dead will result in zombies everywhere in tonight’’s Trick or Treaters. Children’s hit television programs such as the Care Bears (1986), Barney (1993) and SpongeBob SquarePants (2004) not only won the hearts of kids across the country, but also led the way in costume trends for adults.

Here’s hoping everyone will have fun and be safe.

The word Halloween dates to about 1745 and some believe it is of Christian origin. The word “Halloween” means “hallowed evening” or “holy evening”. It comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows’ Eve (the evening before All Hallows’ Day). The Scottish word for “eve” is even, and this is contracted to e’en or een. Over time, this evolved into Halloween.

According to many scholars, All Hallows’ Eve is a Christianized feast. Thus the day after Halloween is a very special and different kind of day. Even before the “sugar high” wears off from all the Halloween candy, be sure to take note of All Saints Day. 

All Saints’ Day is celebrated on November 1 by parts of Western Christianity in honor of all the saints, known and unknown. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. Christians who celebrate All Saints’ Day do so in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and the living. In many Christian churches the word “saints” refers to all Christians and therefore, on All Saints’ Day, the Church Universal, as well as the deceased members of a local congregation, are honored and remembered.

I wish you a Happy Halloween and a Holy All Saints Day.

Jamie Jenkins

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