2:00 p.m. Sunday, October 13

image of program card

The Betty Strong Encounter Center will welcome to the podium Dr. Bruce Forbes, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Morningside College and author of two books about the history of holidays  at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 13. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

Forbes will discuss the origins and development of the American celebration of Halloween, accompanied by visual images. ¬†Forbes will describe the Celtic and Christian roots of Halloween, explain the absence of Halloween in colonial America, and summarize how it developed later. The discussion will include pranks, children and candy, scary movies and costumes, and more. Sample topics include the story behind the Jack O’Lantern, the era when trick-or-treats included real tricks, and the phenomenal growth of Halloween activities and decorations in recent decades.

Forbes is the author of Christmas: Candid History (2007) and America’s Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories (2015). Perhaps you remember Forbes from his 2018 contribution to CBS Sunday Morning relating to the song “Silent Night”.