Some of the pumpkins placed in the annual post-Halloween display at Cathedral Grove. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Some of the pumpkins placed in the annual post-Halloween display at Cathedral Grove. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

EDITORIAL: Tradition means everything when it comes to Halloween

We posted a story asking whether we should move Halloween to the closest Saturday…

Tradition is important to people in the Alberni Valley.

This was evident in the comments when we posted a story asking whether we should move Halloween to the closest Saturday to Oct. 31, instead of holding it on the actual day as we have for decades.

Many, many people commented that there is no need to move Halloween to a Saturday; it would be like saying Christmas should be moved to the Saturday closest to Dec. 25.

While Halloween is all about costumes and trick-or-treating now, it began as an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced ‘sow-in’ depending on which country you’re in) where people wore costumes and lit fires to ward off ghosts on the last day of the Celtic year.

The Celtic year began on Nov. 1; it wouldn’t feel right to celebrate Halloween on Nov. 6, for example.

Our society seems to be more one of convenience these days, with machines doing the hard work, and devices helping us with shortcuts.

We don’t need to apply that culture to, well, our culture.

Children who trick-or-treat in places like Ontario, Quebec or the northern climes buck up and wear snowsuits under their costumes. West coasters wear rain gear whenever the weather report warrants it.

We are a hearty lot that way. And every year, despite scores of kids going to school the next day hopped up on sugar, teachers also survive the day after.

Even Montreal, which was expecting heavy rain and damaging winds, received blowback when the mayor told people to stay home and decreed that Halloween trick-or-treating would happen on Nov. 1 this year.

Halloween should stay on Oct. 31, no matter which day of the week it falls. After all, it’s tradition.

Kudos for Portal Players

Portal Players Dramatic Society wrapped up the wildly popular musical, Mamma Mia!, with an encore presentation on Sunday, Nov. 3. We’d like to pass on our own applause to everyone involved in the production for all the hard work they put into the musical since last June.