Hallowmas season is upon us!
Tomorrow marks the first day of Hallowtide which entails the days of October 31, November 1 and 2 in honor of Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These holidays have been passed down from the Western Christian feast dedicated to remembering the faithful departed and most importantly, the saints, or hallows. So where the heck does dressing up in costume and begging for candy come from? Historically speaking, the tradition of using the image of death to confront the thought of its impending reality is a common one.
And as for trick or treating, this comes down from the tradition of souling in Medieval Europe. Souling is what children and typically the poor would do during Hallowmas. This entailed singing soulful songs for the dead in return for soulcakes. These cakes were traditionally round buns made with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and blessed with the sign of the cross before baking. Though they are hardly the alms of the past, we now hand out partially hydrogenated rounds stamped with lower case "m"s. Glasses of wine would also be set out with the soul cakes as an offering for the dead.
So, tomorrow night when you have conjured up your image of death or you version of confronting it, stop on over to the library during trick or treat hours. We will not have soul cakes and certainly not wine, but perhaps a peppermint patty will do?
Also, check out our daily displays this week which are showcasing some of the best horror books in our collection. From classic to contemporary, zombies to vampires, we have your type of scare covered!