Welcome to the last day of October — All Hallow’s Eve. Samhain, the Celtic New Year was celebrated on November 1st. Celebrations began on the night before and since it was a time during which the pagans believed that the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was the thinnest, it was also thought of as a time when communication between the world of the living and the world of the dead was possible. When Christianity came through, the holiday of Samhain was transformed into its Christian skin and known as All Saint’s Day, November 2nd became All Soul’s Day . Hallowmas is Old English for All Saint’s Day and the night before was deemed All Hallow’s Eve or eventually, the Halloween as we know it.
Tonight, a few towns over from us, there will be the annual Rutland Halloween Parade. The parade is celebrating its 52nd year this year and is considered one of the largest, if not the largest, Halloween Parade in the United States. I must say that it is one cool parade. If you ever have the opportunity, I suggest that you take it in. Traditionally, the parade is always held on Halloween itself, regardless of the day of the week that it falls on. This year, the parade was to be held on Saturday, October 29th. The snowstorm that overtook much of the East Coast saw to putting it back in its rightful place — late Saturday afternoon, the powers that be deemed that the parade would be postponed and held on…..you guessed it…. Halloween.
Not good for my brother and his family who traveled up to see the parade and couldn’t stay until Monday for it — but good that it wasn’t canceled all together. That only happened once in 1962 – before my time. This year’s parade will honor the heroes of Tropical Storm Irene — the policemen, rescue workers, firemen and construction folks who are considered by a great many here to be real superheros. Just like Humpty Dumpty they’re the ones that helped to put Vermont back together again after one of its biggest disasters. Tonight, I can imagine that they will be the folks commanding the biggest cheers.