I love love love Halloween! I love the smug welcome of a somewhat scary pumpkin seated on your front stoop, the never-ending burning of candles, the constant fear that lurks from all the spooky characters that hide in the
shadows, and the pillow cases that rip from too much candy.
Like most holidays, I enjoy the slow build up more than the actual day. There’s a spirit and a liveliness that comes during the fall, right around Halloween time, and doesn’t seem to depart until New Years day.
However, Halloween tends to get a bad rep for being an evil holiday, with roots stemming from Gaelic culture and pagan traditions revolving around All Hallows Eve. Back then, Halloween was celebrated quite differently from today. All Hallows Eve was a festival for the crops, and the threat of dead ancestors returning to reek havoc on the finished season as well as torment their relatives. But regardless of the roots and regardless of the original intention of Halloween, the meaning and traditions have evolved.
- Celebration: It’s just that; a celebration, a holiday, a reason for people to come together. In this day in age, so many people are wrapped up in their latest phone or tablet, it’s nice to look up every so often and join the real world, even if it is to drink apple cider and carve a pumpkin.
- Imagination:Kids and adults dress up every year in various costumes, sporting anything from Luke Skywalker to the Empire State building. Halloween caters to our imagination, letting us express some of our goofiest ideas and some of our biggest dreams. I find it touching to see kids dress up as their childhood heroes, it means they are aspiring towards something, and everyone needs a hero.
- Thriller: I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with being frightened every so often; it brings an adrenaline rush similar to that of a roller coaster or drop zone, only without the stomach in your mouth sort of feeling. Being scared or thrilled every so often reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously– to laugh, to scream, to feel emotion.
- Trick or Treat: It seems with the continuous increase and rise of technology, our culture becomes more and more removed. However, every year there seems to be a bucket of candy on even the quietest of neighbors houses. Maybe we’re not as far gone as we think? We’re still willing to give to each other and light up the face of a small child. Think back to your trick or treating years when you saw your gray haired neighbor dressed up as Scooby-Doo; how could you not smile at that?
- Candy: I mean, come on, this is the best part right?? Your neighbors and friends are basically giving out free candy. The only place that happens is at the doctors office or the occasional bank drive through, and even they don’t have Reese’s Cups.
I really truly love the Halloween season, and I don’t think it has to be bad if we can choose to look at the good that has evolved from it. There’s a definitive air and ambiance to Halloween that makes it a distinct season; the crunching of leaves, the smell of the crisp autumn air, the glimmer of orange all around, and the sweet taste of a warm glass of apple cider. Halloween is a holiday worth celebrating.