Baron

Does anyone else have weird family traditions they didn't realize were weird until they were an adult?

To be honest, my family doesn't have many traditions. I am a planner by nature but as a whole we're a 'fly by the seat of our pants' crew.

We talk about traditions and make plans to do something every year—we have great intentions, but not great follow through.

There's one tradition, though, that dates back as long as I can remember, and then some.

Every Halloween everyone in my immediate family gather together for a huge Mexican food dinner.

You're probably asking yourself why, right?

For Nevada Day.

We gather together on Halloween to have Mexican food in honor of Nevada day.

It wasn't until this year, when I mentioned it to a friend, that I found out this was weird.

"What is Nevada Day?" he asked.

I explained about Nevada's statehood day and how it happened to be on October 31.

"But what does Nevada Day have to do with Mexican food," he asked, now clearly confused.

Nothing.

"And what does Mexican food have to do with Halloween?" he asked, his confusion growing.

Well.

Nothing.

"But….why?"

I don't know.

And it had never occurred to me to even ask until I saw the flabbergasted look on his face.

I called my grandparents, who came to Oklahoma by way of Nevada, to ask how exactly this tradition started and they were basically no help other than to say— "Because it's Nevada Day…And Mexican food is good."

The tradition has lasted at least 30 years, despite none of us completely understanding the correlation.

My grandpa, the designated Nevada Day chef, makes all of our favorites—tamales, chili verde, taquitos, chimichangas, salsa, the works.

The table is overflowing and the house smells amazing. Outside, costume-clad kids crunch through leaves walking up the sidewalk to ring the doorbell asking for a treat.

My grandma scoops out candy from the same black plastic cauldron. The same paper jack-o-lantern has hung on the door since before I was old enough to trick-or-treat myself.

My sister and I walking around with grins on our faces—accessorizing our costumes with a taquito in each hand. Extended family and family friends would stop by for a plate of food, of which there was plenty to go around.

Every year it's the exact same. And every year it's perfect.

Growing up I guess I assumed this is how every family spent Halloween, or Nevada Day. I took it for granted.

Now, I enjoy every minute. It's everything I've come to love about fall.

Now, I hope every family has a weird, unexplained family tradition.

Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Daily Progress.