Yes, the pun is stupid. But apropos, as today is Halloween! Boo.
Last year at this time, I was in Prague. We get a number of days off at the end of October in Austria, because not only is the Austrian national holiday on October 26, but because Austria is also a historically Catholic nation, All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day are also holidays - and because this year they land on a Tuesday and a Wednesday, we get Halloween off as well!
Recently, I was asked to do a PowerPoint presentation on Halloween for the 2nd Form (roughly American 6th grade) and I found many interesting facts about Halloween in America as well as the historical significance of the holiday, among which include that Halloween is the #2 commercial holiday in the United States, the higher prevalence of "trunk-or-treating" (where overprotective parents can control where their kids get Halloween candy) and that no one really knows where Halloween comes from, but the top guesses historians have are 1) the Celtic festival of Samhain and 2) the Roman festival of Parentalia. My favorite part of Halloween used to be the candy. But, well, now being more mature and adult, I'd have to say I prefer the historical aspects. But my absolute favorite part is the idea that the earthly realm and the spirit world are closest between October 31 and November 1. And it's easier to tell the future with things like tarot cards and other types of fortune telling.
And here is my favorite animated piece set to music, which always reminds me of Halloween, and a little bit of Austria, too:
Night on Bald Mountain, Fantasia (1940)
Being in Vienna this year, I wonder what will be different. Of course, I'm not expecting too many trick-or-treaters, nor will I be going to the Geisterschloss but I will be attending a costume party, and that will be in the spirit of things, so to speak.