Would you be distraught if you caught your child coming home clutching a bucket full of a random, enigmatic variety of sweets? I think I would. However, on one particular day of the year everyone forgets their preaching of “Don’t talk to strangers, kids!” and proves to be hypocritical once again by knocking on the doors of predominantly elderly people’s houses in the neighbourhood, mooching (the American meaning of the word, as it is a rather Americanised celebration) them for sweeties. Why do they do this? Why don’t you ask a young who celebrates Halloween. Revel in the blank look on their face as they try to improvise with “It’s Halloween, that’s what you do. Trick or treat!” Is it, though? Halloween must have always been about stealing other people’s sweets and dressing up as a zombie, Frankenstein’s monster, ghost, SS officer or -insert edgy I’m-trying-too-hard to be offensive costume here- and, if you’re a girl, “sexy” Zombie, “sexy” Frankenstein’s monster, et cetera. [Costume sexualisation…]
Many people fail to realise what Halloween is really about and despite thinking it’s funny that hardcore atheists of today STILL celebrate Christmas and don’t really celebrate what it’s about either, it’s especially hilarious that hardcore modern atheists celebrate Halloween, which is debated to not even be Christian, but Pagan! After some hardcore 5 minute Internet research, one can find out that Halloween, that “straddles the line between Autumn and Winter” is believed to originate from a celebration the Celts engaged in called “Samhain”, where they would wear absolutely terrifying (and not mass produced masks from the then, unknown to the Celts, land of China) masks to ward off wandering spirits. Within the 8th Century, Pope Gregory III declared that the 1st of November as a day in which to honour all saints and martyrs. The holiday of “All Saints’ Day”, incorporated some of the original practices and traditions of Samhain. The evening before was first known as All Hallows’ Eve, which later evolved to what we now know as Halloween.
As always, teenagers as well as reliable and sensible adults see a perfect opportunity at Halloween to get absolutely smashed on what appears to be a rather lightweight amount of cheap, disgusting alcohol (probably Czech vodka from an unlicensed corner shop, enjoy your blindness) proving furthermore that English people on the whole suck at drinking. Perhaps they shouldn’t let people drink until they’ve drank half a .75l bottle of adequate vodka to themselves and proved to be competent still, however that’s a completely different story for another time. Alcohol hijinks stories coming soon.
For retailers, it’s a perfect opportunity for them to, with the unknown black magic of marketing, make you lower your shopping inhibitions and buy what seems to be radioactively coloured and carcinogenic plastic crap that you would scoff at any other time of year due to its shoddy quality but “it’s Halloween!” so you must make an attempt, or else you’ll fall off the face of the social relevance radar and you’ll evidently become a nobody, which is too much of an impact on your pride! Oh no…
The fact that retailers use such hyperbole when marketing things for traditions, to maximise profits is all too capitalist for my young idealistic mind and it’s utterly soul destroying.
I don’t know what you’d call the Halloween equivalent of Christmas’ Scrooge… Instead of the ‘Ghost at the Feast’ it’d probably be more like “the Alive one in the Graveyard” but that isn’t what I’m being here. I think Halloween parties can be absolutely fantastic, given that you’re a prepubescent child with a love of (and who doesn’t at this age, apart from that one kid at every party who is allergic to E440 or some shit) sweets and choco.
I suppose what I’m trying to say here, is that like many traditions that are celebrated in modern day society, Halloween has become bastardised – an entirely new celebration that has little or next to nothing to do with what it was originally about. In this, I find a little bit of sadness, but I know that’s the way things go. As I spoke about earlier, it’s the same with Christmas, and the merging of Paganism’s “Yule Tide” with the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I’m not angry about traditions being changed – I know that happens all the time, jee, I eat Indian food on Christmas day and have for years now. I’m a true Englishman -smirks-. You’ll hear more about that, when the time’s right.