Leprechauns, demons, ghosts, pumpkins, children in costumes, the beginning of the winter in the northern hemisphere, the "adoption" of Celtic traditions by the Christians, and the Rock Group U2.
What do all this has in common?
I'll explain: October 31st.
The leprechauns, demons, ghosts, pumpkins and children in costumes are part of Halloween, the "festival of horrors", "witches day", October 31st.
October 31st, for the ancient Celts, marked the beginning of the winter. The frozen soil, apparently lifeless, forces the germination of the seeds, thus making possible the growth of the plants in the spring.
In the Celtic tradition, this was a day for introspection and reverence to the spirits of the ancestors. A magical day in which all kind of supernatural beings roamed the world.
The Christians later adopted the festival, which they celebrate a day later on November first, with a new name: "All Saints Day", or "All Hollows", whence comes the name "Halloween".
October 31st was and still is a magical day, of beginnings and ends, where everything is possible.
And U2? What does U2 have to do with October 31st?
I'll explain: Larry Mullen Jr.
It's in the least a curious coincidence that the young man who took the initiative to start U2 was born on this day, of all others. A magical day, of beginnings and ends, a day where everything is possible.
Larry is the beginning, and potentially the end of U2. Bono has already said that, just like Larry created the band, only he can "disband" it. Only Larry can put an end to the band. Beginnings and ends.
And we all know that, with U2, their music and their ideology, everything is possible. U2's music is magical, and has the power to change people's lives for the better.
Bono, in an interview from the time when the band was just beginning to record ATYCLB, declared himself uneasy with this magical side of U2. He doesn't want us fans to think that U2 could be involved in "black magic"
Perhaps I can explain this one too, and humbly offer a theory that might dispel this doubt of our favorite rock singer...Even in the worst times of the "witch hunting" of Medieval Europe, the Church would make a distinction between two kinds of magic: "Black Magic" (or "Ritual Magic"), that was connected to the "Old Religion" and therefore considered "demoniacal" and "Natural Magic", which was not only tolerated, but also considered a blessing.
The difference between these two kinds of magic is that "Natural Magic" (as opposed to the "Ritual Magic", which is not "demoniacal", by the way) can't be controlled. The recipient of this kind of magic knows it exists, can recognize it when, and if, it happens, and knows that it can only do good. But he cannot "summon" this magic. All he can do is pray, and hope for the best.
"Natural Magic" is a talent, a gift from Heaven. Something that either is,or isn't there. It's Divine Grace itself.
And in my opinion this is U2's "magic", a magic that exists and comes down from Heaven to bless the band ever since a certain note was pinned to the notice board of a certain school in Dublin by Larry Mullen Jr., who was born on October 31st.
Happy birthday, Larry!!!!