31 October 2010

Trick or Treat

Halloween, a mainly American (and British, Canadian, and Irish) holiday celebrated on 31 October, is a fun affair.  As such, its celebration has been steadily spreading and becoming internationalized.

Many Americans mistakenly believe that Halloween is rooted in the Mexican Día de los Muertos.  In fact, Halloween's roots are in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian All Saints' Day holiday.

Lovely Mexican Maidens from Día de los Muertos

In the US, Halloween is a festive affair mainly intended for the youth.  Visiting neighbors to trick or treat while wearing disguises in order to receive lots of cheap, disgustingly-sweet candies that lead to a many insulin shocks is a hallowed American tradition reserved for the last day of October.  In the rest of the world, Halloween has become raison de fête for young (and not so young) adults.  It is an excuse to party and engorge on libations on yet another day that would otherwise be spent unproductively.  

In 1989 the Berlin Wall, the symbolic division between East and West, fell.  Thanks to this historic event, Americans can now purchase Stolichnaya Vodka every day of the year where, in exchange, Russians can celebrate Halloween in disguise once a year.  It seems like a fair trade.

Lovely Moscovite Maidens from Хэллоуин

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