Year of 2017

Tunnel near Inspiration Point, Yosemite National Park

If it seems like someone is going to jump out of this image and yell ‘boo,’ then we picked the right picture for the eve of Halloween. It was photographed near the Inspiration Point trailhead at Yosemite National Park, where adventurous explorers can discover all kinds of interesting scenes off the beaten path. Above ground, the park in California serves up views that are much more fitting of the name Inspiration Point. The area is home to iconic rock formations like El Capitan and the Half Dome, and it’s known for an abundance of waterfalls. Since it’s almost Halloween, we’ll share that Yosemite means ‘killer’ in the language of the Miwok, the indigenous people who once lived here. Let’s just pretend this refers to killer views.

Mischief Night is an informal holiday on which certain children and teens engage in pranks and minor vandalism. The earliest reference to Mischief Night is from 1790 when a headmaster encouraged a school play which ended in “an Ode to Fun which praises children’s tricks on Mischief Night in most approving terms”. In the United Kingdom, these pranks were originally carried out as part of May Day celebrations, but shifted to later in the year, dates varying in different areas, some marking it on October 30, the night before Halloween, others on November 4, the night before Bonfire Night. According to one historian, “May Day and the Green Man had little resonance for children in grimy cities. They looked at the opposite end of the year and found the ideal time, the night before the gunpowder plot.” However, the shift only happened in the late nineteenth century and is described by the Opies as “one of the mysteries of the folklore calendar”. In Germany, Mischief Night is still celebrated on May 1.