Halloween is celebrated on Oct. 31 in the U.S. and in many other countries. Throughout history it has been associated with many different people, good and bad; it is a celebration of family, community, and the harvest, as well as a time to dabble in the gruesomeness of death and darkness.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, was originated as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which signifies the end of summer. This autumnal festival, rooted in Christian and pagan traditions, emphasized the relationship between season and life cycle. Halloween, or Samhain, is also considered a turning point in the wheel of the year, representing the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. According to the wheel of the year cycle, this was the period of death. During this time, it is believed that the veil between the living and the dead becomes thinner. In the weeks leading up to Nov. 1, the pace of spiritual activity increases.

People dressed up and lit bonfires during the Celtic festival of Samhain to drive away ghosts. Pope Gregory III designated November 1st as the day to celebrate all saints in the 8th century. Eventually, the celebration of All Saints Day merged with some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before All Saints Day became known as All Hallows Eve, known today as Halloween.

As early as the Middle Ages, carved turnips (later pumpkins) called Jack-O-Lanterns were used to commemorate Stingy Jack, who wandered the earth after being denied entrance into heaven and hell. Today, pumpkins are more decorative than useful. It is also believed that trick-or-treating originated from Celtic traditions of giving tokens of the harvest to wandering spirits to keep them from interfering with the harvest or harming the home. Nowadays, trick-or-treating is about community and candy and not about pacifying ghosts, fairies, and spirits.

For me, the years are gone when the house was buzzing with kids, carving pumpkins and digging for costumes, but I will still be looking forward to 300 plus trick-or-treaters knocking on my door looking for a sweet treat. I wait in anticipation for the first doorbell ring, then soon after the neighborhood yards are full of little munchkins, and by precisely 8 p.m. the front door lights are off and another year is done. Whether you have trick-or-treaters or not, do something special to enjoy the evening. Happy Halloween!

The Friendship Café is open for indoor dining, takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery. We are open Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Main entree, $7. Comes with a vegetable or fruit, bread and dessert.

Thursday, Oct. 28: Halloween Spooktacular Special

Friday, Oct. 29: Center closed.

Monday, Nov. 1: Chicken Alfredo.

Tuesday, Nov. 2: Meatloaf w/Potatoes.

Wednesday, Nov. 3: Stuffed Green Peppers.

Thursday, Nov. 4: Pork Chops.

Soup and Sandwich (Ham or Turkey) w/fruit, $6.50. Turkey or Ham Wrap w/cup of soup or salad, $8. Chef Salad or Taco Salad w/bread, $8.

All applicable taxes are included in prices. For payment we take cash or check.

Senior meal delivery program: If you are a senior citizen located in Isanti County and interested in delivery, call us at (763-689-6555) the night before or the morning of, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Please state your name, phone number, and address.

The Senior Activity Center is located at 140 Buchanan St. N., Suite 164, Cambridge, 763-689-6555.

Load comments