(1) Short procedure for this SNLC Halloween edition: feel free to vote in the poll and skip on to the next diary.
(2) Long procedure for this SNLC Halloween edition: feel free to vote in the poll and read (the very minimal content) below the flip....
Courtesy of Diane C. Arkins, this summary of the origins of Halloween:
"Observed on the last night of October, Halloween is a colorful union of customs that evolved from the old Celtic festival days of Samhain, an annual observance of summer's end filled with mystic rites led by Druidic priests, and ancient Roman celebrations honoring Pomona, the goddess of fruits, seeds and crops. When the Christian church undertook to expand its influence, it attempted to undermine these established pagan influences by amalgamating the old rituals under the religious-oriented auspices of All Saint's, or Hallow's, Day. The night preceding this feast thus became known as All Hallow's Eve(n) or abbreviated in the old vernacular to Hallowe'en."
Citation: Diane C. Arkins, Halloween: Romantic Art and Customs of Yesteryear. Pelican Publishing Company, pp. 13-14 (2000).
Arkins further summarizes about the "emigration" of Halloween activities to America:
"The age-old fortune-telling rituals that had developed under these sundry influences ultimately followed mid-nineteenth century Scottish, English and Irish immigrants to their new homes in America, and by the turn of the twentieth century, the customs had taken root as popular Halloween party revels."
Citation: Arkins, p. 14
Admittedly, whenever one (read: 3CM) goes to a party, at the back of the head is wondering whether he'll meet anyone new. Of course, this is nothing new under the sun for the human race, including the context of Halloween parties:
"In the form of high-spirited seasonal balls, barn dances, masquarade parties, progressive dinners, and bridge socials, as well as church or club get-togethers, the typical early-twentieth-century Halloween event provided a properly chaperoned forum where hopeful romantics might steal a glance, share a dance, and coyly propel the progress of a relationship. The early 1900s were, after all, still an era when strict Victorian mores continued to dictate an exceptionally modest approach to interaction with members of the opposite sex. Real women dared not even converse with a man to whom they had not been formally introduced; 'tactful' ladies would not suggest undertaking a correspondence with a man, and it was considered essential that a girl of sixteen be chaperoned by a female relative during lengthy visits to the dentist.
'Don't let (any man) touch the tip of your little finger until he has the right,' admonished one 1913 etiquette manual. 'You'll be glad you didn't when the right man appears'. In this atmosphere of commanding protocols, concerns over when, to whom, or even if one would marry were of such importance that romance-minded singles were highly receptive to the potential of playful fortune-telling rituals. Enter the old-fashioned Halloween party."
Citation: Arkins, p. 14
Of course, times have changed regarding social mores, even if basic human wants haven't.
Self has to confess that he's never been much for dressing up for Halloween, as a kid or otherwise. I suppose that I wore costumes when younger not out of any great desire or sense of fun, but simply because all the other kids did the same. One of many reasons 3CM is a loser, of course :) . Much older now, I do plan to stop by a friend's annual Halloween party, not particularly costumed beyond "regular clothes", and see who shows up, in the way of old friends and acquaintances, and maybe someone new. Not that I have high expectations for myself, mind you, in keeping with the loser tradition.
By the way, you might want to show this Halloween-themed diary from earlier today some love. That done, 'tis time for the usual SNLC ritual, where your loser stories for the week are called for below. Halloween-themed or not, that's up to you ;) .