The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted October 31, 2013

All Hallows Evening 01

All Hallows Evening 02

All Hallows Evening 03

All Hallows Evening 04

All Hallows Evening 05

All Hallows Evening 06

All Hallows Evening 07

All Hallows Evening 08
Thanks for sharing, Philip!!

All Hallows Evening 09


All Hallows’ Evening

By The BC Crew


Halloween – as you know, is a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening", also known as All Hallows' Eve, and is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day.  It initiates the triduum of Hallowmas[i], the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers.


We BC’s remember back when we were just mere pups - we would sometimes be scared at this time of year, then as we grew wiser and more astute, we began looking forward to Halloween.  That being said … we don’t get many trick or treater’s out here at the place!!  But mom-D keeps a bucket of goodies handy just in case some kiddos stop by (and dad always has plenty of his special “treats” in any of the refrigerators in the shop – just in case some of his derelict friends stop by!!)


As we were contemplating the relevance of Halloween this year and trying to determine whether we thought it was a good deal or not … you see, we were thinking that this was just some sort of old pagan celebration and, as such, we weren’t real sure that good God-fearing pups like ourselves ought to be celebrating it – and, we decided to go ahead and do some research on Halloween, and its origins, on the good ol’ internet and would like to share this mostly plagiarized information (from with all of you (we hope you find it as interesting as we did – you know that knowledge is a powerful thing, don’t you??!!  If you’re not interested, or get bored … sorry, just look at the pictures (though you’ll have to keep reading to figure out why all of the Sesame Street characters are portrayed)):


The word Halloween or Hallowe'en dates to about 1745 and is of Christian origin.  The word "Halloween" means "hallowed evening" or "holy evening”.  Like we said before, it comes from a Scottish term for All Hallows' Eve (the evening before All Hallows' Day).  In Scots, the word "eve" is even, and this is contracted to e'en or een.  Over time, (All) Hallow(s) E(v)en evolved into Halloween.  Although the phrase "All Hallows'" is found in Old English, "All Hallows' Eve" is itself not seen until 1556.


Today's Halloween customs (and there are many) are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity.

  1. SYMBOLS: Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. Jack-o'-lanterns are traditionally carried by guisers[ii] on All Hallows' Eve in order to frighten evil spirits.  There is a popular Irish Christian folktale associated with the jack-o'-lantern, which in lore, is said to represent a "soul who has been denied entry into both heaven and hell"[iii].  In Ireland and Scotland, the turnip has traditionally been carved during Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip.  The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century (but the Mandujano’s are really proud that this association was made!!).

  2. TRICK-OR-TREATING:  Is a customary celebration for children on Halloween.  Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?"  The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.[iv] 

  3. COSTUMES:  Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as vampires, monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils.  Rev. Dr. Eddie J. Smith, in his book Halloween, Hallowed Be Thy Name, offers a religious perspective to the wearing of costumes on All Hallows' Eve, stating that "By dressing up in costumes and portraying frightening creatures, who at one time caused us to fear and tremble, we … are poking fun at the serpent whose head has been crushed by our Savior."  Furthermore, in the Christian tradition, "images of skeletons, ghosts, graveyard scenes, nighttime creatures such as bats— these are traditional decorations used as memento mori[v].  Over time, in the United States the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses – not to mention Sesame Street Characters (I understand that dad may have dressed up at his new job (it’s for the kids, you know!) as one of the characters from Sesame Street!  I don’t think we’ll ever post a picture … BUT – there are a couple on the left from dad’s more memorable Halloweens!! – though we think one wasn’t Halloween, but do you notice the theme??!)

We also learned that "Day of the Dead" (in espanol, that is Día de Muertos) is a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world.  The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.  The celebration takes place on October 31 through November 2, in connection with the Christian triduum of Hallowmas.


All Hallows Evening Cartoon


Hmmm, after considerable thought - and AS LONG as mom-D doesn’t ever dress US up ever again in goofy costumes (Christmas 2012 was tough enough), we figure that All Hallow’s Evening is probably a pretty good deal after all!!


Happy Halloween, and be safe our friends!!


The BC Crew







A Halloween Prayer –


Father, All-Powerful and Ever-Living God, today we rejoice in the holy men and women of every time and place.  May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

- All Hallows Eve Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours






[i] The triduum encompassing the Western Christian observances of All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en), All Saints' Day (All Hallows') and All Soul's Day, which last from October 31 to November 2 annually.


[ii] Trick-or-treating or guising is a customary practice for children on Halloween in many countries.


[iii] How Jack Got His Name:  On route home after a night's drinking, Jack encounters the Devil who tricks him into climbing a tree.  A quick-thinking Jack etches the sign of the cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil.  Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul.  After a life of sin, drink, and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies.  Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and throws a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him.  It was a cold night, so Jack places the coal in a hollowed out turnip to stop it from going out, since which time Jack and his lantern have been roaming looking for a place to rest. 


[iv] However, an increasingly popular variant of trick-or-treating, known as trunk-or-treating (or Halloween tailgating), occurs when "children are offered treats from the trunks of cars parked in a church parking lot," or sometimes, a school parking lot.  In a trunk-or-treat event, the trunk of each automobile is decorated with a certain theme, such as those of children's literature, movies, scripture, and job roles.  Because the traditional style of trick-or-treating was made impossible after Hurricane Katrina, trunk-or-treating provided comfort to those whose homes were devastated.  Trunk-or-treating has grown in popularity due to its perception as being safer than going door to door, a point that resonates well with parents.


[v] A memento mori (Latin 'remember that you will die') is an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death.  The expression developed with the growth of Christianity, which emphasized Heaven, Hell, and salvation of the soul in the afterlife."




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