Are you prepared?
A time of darkness is approaching.
A time when the mellow, warm season shall give way to a dark, chilly one.
A time when people reportedly go berserk, and all kinds of crazy stuff happens on the streets.
Unsettling, isn't it?
Are you ready for the weekend?
The end of summer?
Image courtesy pinterest.com/jandropy/.
The idea of Halloween goes all the way back...take a guess...around two thousand years, when a certain people known as the Celts resided in the area encompassing current-day countries like the UK, Ireland, and France.
Around this time of the year, the Celts would experience a transition from the warm harvest season to chilly, darker seasons.
They would mark this transition as the start of a new year - in fact, they would celebrate the Celtic New Year around the time we know to be the first of November.
The Celtic New Year
Hop-tu-naa! Image courtesy wikipedia.
You gotta hand it to the Celts.
They took it upon themselves to observe the onset of the chilly season - a period often marked by deaths - as the onset of a new year.
You’d rather the year started on a cheerier note, wouldn’t you?
I know I would.
Returning to our original point…
...the Celts thought that all the misfortune (bleak weather, deaths, the harvest season being over) occurred because of the spirits of the dead crossing over to the world of the living.
Celtic priests, who were called Druids, sought to converse with the spirits of the dead, and foretell what would happen in the coming months.
The Celts would mark the occasion by lighting bonfires, and sacrificing animals to the spirits and other deities.
This came to be known as Samhain, and it took place on October 31st - the day before the Celtic new year.
This was the earliest form of Halloween.
Now you understand why Halloween came to be associated with ghosts and spirits, and why people celebrate it.
You may find it ironic that an occasion on which people hoped that the spirits of the dead would guide them as to the future has come to be associated with the likes of…
...Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees.
Making Halloween 2020 in Chicago COVIDSafer
2020 is the year in which something called COVID…
...featured in almost every damn discussion.
Having a COVIDSafer Halloween celebration
Well, if you take COVID precautions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t celebrate Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve, as it’s also called.
Wearing face masks
That’s very Halloween-y, but that kind of mask does NOT stop COVID from spreading.
THIS is the kind of mask you should be wearing…
Wear a face mask like this.
Make sure that the mask covers your nose and mouth. It’s good practice to go for masks that don’t have a respiratory valve.
Keep your distance!
Keeping a distance of 2 arms’ length from people not in your group is another key precaution to make your Halloween COVIDSafer.
Wash your hands with soap or an alcohol based sanitizer.
Frequently washing your hands is the third precaution that’ll keep you COVIDSafer during Halloween.
Hand washing with soap and water is the best option.
However, that might prove difficult while you’re out. Hand washing with alcohol based sanitizer is a good alternative to soap.
So, remember to carry an alcohol based hand sanitizer while you’re out celebrating Halloween.
FYI, we enforce all these COVID precautions (in addition to running temperature checks on players before they’re allowed to enter) here at Fox in a Box.
Celebrating Halloween 2020 in Chicago
Halloween will be a little different this year!
Here’s how to celebrate Halloween 2020, in style!
Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without trick-or-treating.
That being said, in light of the pandemic, here’s a couple of steps you can take to make it safer for your kids.
Group of six
The magic figure.
Groups must be no larger than six people, as per city guidelines.
You may have to break up a large group of friends into smaller groups. There may be outrage, and tears, but you’ll have to do it.
Drive through trick-or-treating
Rather than walk up and down the streets, you could ask the children to pick a few houses they’d like to visit, and then drive them there.
What’s the spookiest jack-o’-lantern you can carve?
Haunted houses and escape rooms
Conventional, enclosed, haunted houses are banned this year, unfortunately.
However, haunted houses have taken steps to innovate out of the enclosed space orthodoxy into drive through haunts, and haunted walks. You should check them out.
Escape rooms in Chicago, like us, are operating under city guidelines.