I’ll start by mentioning that I am biased on this subject. Normally I try and present an unbiased ponder to get people thinking whether they agree or disagree with me – that’s the point of this site. I am quite open about the fact that Halloween is my favourite holiday (even if spell checkers won’t let me spell it properly).
Thankfully, this year I did not have to endure hearing people try to tell me that it is a holiday that worships the Devil. It amazes me how people can say these things without thinking fondly of their big buckles and life in Salem, Massachusetts. I should be glad that they took a break from burning witches to peek into life past the 18th century. History and the fact that Halloween is an acknowledged Christian holiday aside, why wouldn’t they think that the Devil made us do it?
Anyway, some people don’t like the holiday for their own reasons. I totally understand that as Christmas is one of my least favourite times of the year. One of these non-Halloweeners asked me what I like about it after rhyming off their disdain of expenses, greed, and obligations (the same reasons I don’t care for Christmas actually). I had to admit that the commercialization of any holiday does leave a bad taste, but one has to dig further than that.
Halloween to me is many things. My memories of trying to think up a costume that both looked great and could fit over a parka are great reflections of ingenuity and creativity. Going out with my friends for a ridiculous walk around town that we would never otherwise do was both fun and great exercise. I also still remember the lessons of moderation when it came to the candy. It was also a great way to get out in the community and participate instead of sheltering ourselves through self imposed exile. I still love the telling of spooky stories at this time of year. Most stories are more gross than spooky, so it’s back to the classics for me.
However, more than anything, the thing I love about Halloween is that science and scepticism can just bugger off for one day. For one day we can believe that anything is possible. El Dia de los Muertos is a variant of Halloween is practiced in some parts of the world where it is believed that the dead can come and have a last few moments with their loved ones. Traditionally, “Different” people could venture out and mingle with those that might not otherwise acknowledge their presence thanks to a clever disguise. Not to mention the fact that everyone is permitted to explore that hidden little part of their personality with impunity. I find it hard to imagine a way that Halloween isn’t good providing the commercialism can be ignored too.
So I wish you all a good Halloween and don’t eat all the chocolate at once.