Yes, fiends, it's Halloween, that great religious holiday when we teach children the value of extortion
Perhaps you are aware that Halloween, like almost everything else in life, really does have religious roots and connections, the primary now being that it's the eve of All Saints Day.
But some of the history of how Halloween developed is kind of intriguing. So today I'm simply going to give to several links to various versions of that story. Here's one. And another. Plus this one from the History Channel.
So poke around in this history and memorize a few facts that you can bore trick-or-treaters with tonight at your door. Speaking of Halloween facts, the Census Bureau the other day sent out a press release saying there are 36.4 million potential tirck-or-treaters in the U.S., meaning kids from 5 to 13 years old. The Bureau also reported that in 2004, the major pumpkin-producing states (my native Illinois led the pack) grew 998 million pounds of pumpkin.
If you turned one of those pumpkins into a jack-o-lantern, I hope you notified the next-of-pumpkin.
See my About page to find out how to read online what I've written for The Kansas City Star.
Today's religious holidays: All Hallows Eve (Christian); Reformation Day (Protestant Christian, celebrated yesterday); Samhain (Wicca/Neo-Pagan).