On Halloween

Halloween is the one day of the year where the creeps of the world get to celebrate our creepiness and the rest of the world can just step back and kiss our wart laden asses.- Blag Dahlia

 

 

While the origins of Halloween emanate from Celtic pagan celebrations of Samhain mixed with a little bit of the Romam Parentalia, Halloween is best a holiday without any strict religious connotations. Every one, no matter what race, creed, background, religious denomination or tax bracket should be denied from enjoying Halloween. This should be a holiday for everyone.  Kids, parents, single people, married couples, people who are really into Halloween, people who aren’t into Halloween at all.

My attitude on Halloween is that it’s an inclusive holiday, specifically because it doesn’t have a religious connotation shared by the mass population. This might contradict an earlier sentiment oh how we shouldn’t use Halloween to marginalize a particular group or people. I understand that. But, the religious origins of this holiday aren’t significant to the general population of America (or most of the world) enough to warrant calling this holiday a ‘religious’ one. We should explain the origins but we should celebrate the current incarnation.

I knew people whose strict Christian background prevented them from celebrating Halloween, whose religious teachings said that any holiday that celebrated supernatural beings was doing a disservice to the divine creator because you weren’t celebrating Him. And I’m fine with that sentiment because that issue with Halloween is not based in Halloween itself. It’s based in that Christian teaching. Not all Christians view Halloween as horrible. And I don’t know of any Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist objection to the holiday to make a statement. But what I do know is that I have never heard anyone be told “oh, you can’t celebrate Halloween because you’re…”  

Everyone should feel welcomed to celebrate, which is why racist and sexist costumes (which have no purpose but to degrade and marginalize a specific group) are counter-intuitive to a modern Halloween.

While I approve of having a historical sense of the holiday, I am quite fine with the modern incarnation being a celebration of being weird, creepy and spooky. Fear and its derivatives need a holiday. Fear is a healthy emotion, when taken in healthy amounts and having a holiday where people can safely experiment in different levels of fear is welcomed. Go to a haunted attraction. Watch a scary movie. We, as a civilization and as a species, should strive forward to reducing the elements that cause fear – poverty, crime, hate. But having a time of the year where people can go to a haunted house and have actors portraying serial killers come to life?

A nondenominational holiday that creates a safe place for people to experience fear, for kids to dress up in costumes and be creepy, for individuals to celebrate their weirdness? This is Halloween. This is what I like about it.

 

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