Halloween is whatever you want it to be
It's Halloween this Friday. This old Celtic tradition seems to have found its way to mainland Europe although we have to say with no clarity of its origins. Many people here in the Swiss alps seem unaware that Halloween was actually a festival of the Celtic people to mark the end of the harvest season and their New Year. Later the Christians established All Saints Day on November 1, so people could continue to celebrate this festival, and the mass of this day was called all Hallwomass.
As a result the evening before became known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween. In England poor people went begging for food or money in return for promising to pray for bygone souls. They carried jack o'lanterns to light their way originally carved out of beets, potatoes or turnips. Never ones to miss a chance to commercialize, these Americans and Canadians now use October 31 as an excuse to flaunt corporate dress codes and go to work in ridiculous costumes by day. And by night their kids go from door to door, trick or treating. But whichever way you cut it, kids here in Saanenland are just like their counterparts the world over and have become fascinated by the various faces of Halloween. And so if somebody unexpectedly knocks at your door on Friday evening - which doesn't really happen around these parts - it'll probably be just a few kids asking for some sweets. Halloween is whatever you want it to be... so be nice.