Saturday, November 1, 2014

People Need Halloween.

Ever since I stopped participating in Halloween festivities in 5th or 6th grade (I was a pre-teen elitist who though it was juvenile and beneath me), I've thought that Halloween was pointless. That view only solidified upon observing the debauchery exhibited by my fellow students in college. Halloween. The one day of the year when you can act up, when "anything goes". Just an excuse for folks to be silly and stupid. To consume copious amounts of candy and alcohol they don't need. To do whatever they want no matter how reckless, offensive, or inconsiderate it is.

But I've been looking around me and on social media the past few days, and I've noticed something. People all around the world are happy. They're jovial and laid-back and excited. They're showing off their costumes and having fun! Our lives are structured by so many pressures and demands, and we're so stressed out. Folks need a day like this. Folks, just like kids, need a day to play.

Perhaps Halloween as holiday has lost its historical and religious significance for many people (I don't even remember what its origins are or what the meaning of it is).  And no doubt, the "anything goes" mentality has had problematic consequences. But in a theoretical sense, Halloween is also a day where people can loosen up, be a little (or a lot) creative, and share laughter and good times with others. Plus, celebrating is a fun way to revel in autumn and all its splendor, just before we enter the transition between the autumn and winter seasons.

So while I still prefer to watch what others come up with from a distance than to celebrate it myself, I get it. This whole thing is really fun to watch. For all its negative aspects perceived "pointlessness", the creative camaraderie that arises around Halloween is something special.

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