Before there was Halloween, there was Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest. Like at Beltane (the midsummer fest), huge bonfires were lit and cattle were herded through the smoke, to purify them. For the length of Samhain (sunset on 10/31-sunset on 11/1), spirits of the departed visited their families. And people wore disguises and feasted, and went door to door. Unlike today, when only children get to dress up and maraud, everybody dressed up for Samhain. At the feasts, the spirits of the departed were given their own seats, and invited to eat offerings of food and wine. How this morphed into Snickers and Kit-kats, I don’t know (though the little snack size bars would make good graveyard offerings).
Not much has happened on this particular Samhain, except I got my first full length gray hair and someone TPed the hell out of my parents’ neighborhood (but not their yard, as of this posting). We did drive by an old cemetery (Revolutionary war old) where a murder of crows was sitting quietly. No trick-or-treaters have arrived yet but I sure hope they do, or else I’ll be forced to eat two bags of mini Hershey bars while passing a tiny plastic cow through an imaginary bonfire.