October 31

With October 31 just around the corner, everyone is eagerly anticipating the impending festivities. This is a time of whimsical celebration, when people can come together with the common goal of blithe enjoyment.

The holiday I am referring to, of course, is the Cambodian celebration of the birthday of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Preahmahaviraksat, King-Father of the Cambodian National Independence. Sihanouk was the constitutional monarch of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955, and was famous for assisting North Vietnam in the years leading up to the Vietnam War.

Readers who may be unfamiliar with this holiday will doubtlessly be participating in the much more well known Gaelic festival of Samhain this Thursday. Observed in many Celtic lands, this celebration marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Samhain is the time, of course, when livestock is slaughtered in preparation for the winter months.

If you have something against Gaelic festivals, you may be interested in a Cornish holiday happening on the 31st called Allentide, also known as Nos Kalan Gwav. This delightful day includes children being bestowed Allan apples for good luck, a merry feast, and an amusing game in which you must eat an apple suspended under a swinging candle. The goal of the game is to eat the apple with getting as little scorching hot wax on your face as possible.

Clearly, there is a lot to celebrate this October 31st, and if none of these holidays suit your fancy, I hope you can find something else to do that day that’s worth your time.

Happy Halloween!