I had meant to post this yesterday, but, as written "we poor mortals do
fail in enjoyment". I won't get into the rights and wrongs of Wiccan and
neo-paganry (I'm not terribly opposed, nor do I take it very seriously),
but it's not wrong to take note of waht is regarded as a high holy day by
some, and why.
A date more or less identifiable with November 1 was New Year's Day in the
old Celtic pre-Christian calendar. That was the traditional time when the
crops were in, so it really more closely coincides with Thanksgiving than
anything else. However, the theory was that the old year went out at
midnight, but you couldn't say that the new year arrived until sunrise.
Well, all rules were therefore off between midnight and sunrise, so every
spirit could do what it wished without hindrance. Since a good many were
malign, but couldn't hurt other spirits, what were mere mortals to do?
Well, pretend to be spirits themselves to confuse 'em. Old Irish maxim
comes to mind: if you can't baffle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with
well, you know what...a tradition still in a state in a good state of
preservation. Or build fires and stick close by them, and maybe the
spirits would confuse them for sunrise.
I expect there are some here at least attracted to that particular
tradition, so no harm done in mentioning it.
I, of course, am warding of the spirits by consuming some of my own,
thereby explaining my spirited writing!