I don’t like Halloween. There, I’ve said it. And now, because I know you’re dying of curiosity, I’ll tell you why:
First, I’m not entertained by scary movies, scary cakes, scary fashions, scary candy, scary costumes, none of it. I gave up watching movies whose main purpose seems to be making the audience jump out of their skins, or at least their chairs every three minutes. I call them ‘jumper movies’ for just that reason.
I’m not entertained by ‘grody’ things either, you know what I mean, right? Chartreuse faces, fake wounds, skeleton heads, imitation bleeding or exposed internal organs and fluids, eyeballs, etc., etc. Again, you know what I mean, right?
And yes, you might interpret that to mean I’m squeamish. Well, I might be, or I might not and I’ve been called worse, anyway.
More recently it seems more accurate to say that my empathy for real human beings and real animals is profoundly triggered by such images, and even moreso when those images are of real live [or recently deceased] human beings or animals. When that happens I usually turn away, but if I’m not quick enough, I get some really fantastic [sarcasm] anxiety attacks.
Second, and here’s where I might get some arguments if I don’t just get laughed at:
I don’t like Halloween because it’s a mockery, at least in the way it has been celebrated since I was oh, in college.
Before that it didn’t ever seem that the celebrations were deliberately planned and designed to shock, to repulse and startle and yes, scare. It’s a mockery of two different, very different things I feel strongly about.
One is the medieval beliefs around All Saint’s Day and All Saint’s Eve. Those can still be seen as greatly honored by indigenous people who celebrate the Day of the Dead, as they do in Mexico and as they do in other ways around the world. Those ceremonies, those rituals HONOR those who have passed on. Those celebrations profoundly respect their lives and their survivors, too.
In the Middle Ages, All Hallow’s Eve, the night before All Saint’s Day was meant to celebrate and honor those who had been lost in the previous year, or before that. It was meant to honor the ordinary people who had died, as the next day was reserved, literally for the saintly ones. I don’t know as much as I’d like to about the rituals of that time, but I know they did not involve chartreuse cake icing and orange faces with gashes, leaks and other charming ‘shockers’. And they didn’t involve people having to warn other people to keep their black cats and kittens indoors on ‘Halloween’ because some sick, scared people might take them and kill them because black cats are unlucky, right?
What’s the other belief being mocked by modern notions and practices and designs about Halloween? If you know me, you can probably guess.
It’s the older beliefs. It’s the older celebrations that spanned the western world at one time, some of us believe. It’s the notion that at this time of year as the wheel turns from fall towards winter, the days shortening and the nights growing longer, the ‘veil’ between this world and the next thins, and the next world’s inhabitants can reach us again and be reached. The spirit world can reach us and be reached then. And that’s kinda important, I believe because it speaks to the human NEED for an immortality of some sort. And that’s not something that deserves anything but understanding and respect, certainly not parody or mockery. IMO.