As a Christian, Halloween has always had a slight negative connotation, with all the ghouls, goblins, devils, and other monsters walking about. In fact, my church has held a community function called “Harvest Fest” for years as an alternative to Halloween. With Harvest Fest though, children and other participants could never dress up as these monsters.
With all that being said however, I actually like Halloween…always have (and no, it’s not all about the candy). On Halloween, we have the chance to be someone else (similar to what Joe mentioned in his video). We can be different than who we normally are 364 days a year. We have the opportunity to be kids again and play dress up and make believe.
Another aspect of Halloween I like is the fact that it’s the only time of year where we as a society collectively become more aware of the mysterious, unknown things of this world. Personally I am fascinated by paranormal and things of a mystifying nature. There’s so much we don’t know about this world and I would like to believe that there is indeed more to this reality than what we see. I just can’t accept that this is all there is.
In the end, I simply enjoy Halloween for its strange, paranormal nature and the chance to have a new persona so to speak (plus the candy :) ). It doesn’t conflict with my beliefs at all. Halloween’s fun, and that’s it.
Sidenote here, but I did some digging as to the connection between dressing up in costume and the spooky aspect of Halloween.
Over at History.com*, it said that Halloween originated from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts (who lived 2,000 years ago) celebrated the new year on November 1, a day often associated with human death (perhaps because it marked the end of summer/harvest and the beginning of dark, cold winters). It was believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. During this event, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts and tell each other’s fortunes. Over time, Samhain became All Souls Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints’ Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. There’s a lot more to the history, but it’s not my intention to write a book lol.