When I was a kid, I always looked forward to this time of year. For me, Halloween meant looking at cool decorations in people’s yards, dressing up in a costume and not having to be mundane me for an evening, going out after dark, and of course, CANDY!
Halloween brought on many fun memories, like the time my friend Carolyn and I made a Halloween themed 2 person Dragon costume together and wowed everyone 2 years in a row (it was that awesome!), going through some yards that had actual haunted houses or trails built into them in order to get the opportunity for trick or treat, and seeing everyone’s costumes of course. Two that stick out in my memory are a cow costume (I doubt anyone else thought of that) and the year someone went dressed as Quailman- belt on head, underwear outside clothing, and all.
These days though, Halloween has evolved to mean something more for me personally.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that many people don’t share my sentiment and it’s understandable. Some people just don’t like the “spooky” atmosphere that comes along with the holiday. Being scared, watching people be scared, or being surrounded by home décor decorated with rotting corpses does not always sit well with everyone.
In addition, Halloween has many stereotypes now associated with it having evolved from a pagan/ witch associated festival known as Samhain, the most severe being Devil worship. (Spoiler alert- most witches I’ve come to know do not even believe in the devil, but that is a deeper discussion for another day and time.). Having come from a Christian background myself, I can understand why the association is as it is.
Heck, I even briefly considered axing the holiday that has been beloved by me since being conscious of it from the age of 3 from my personal list of holidays to observe, when someone in made me aware of their belief in this association with evil spirits. Mind you, it only lasted about a minute or two, but it led me to research and question things.
The conclusion that I came up with in my own path is that what you associate with a day has more to do with personal meaning and your own knowing and belief system. If Halloween fell on May 1st and you had the same personal beliefs associated with it, I would be willing to bet you’d behave the same toward it as you do on October 31st. If you choose to avoid the happenings of the day, regardless of the reason, that is your choice and that’s ok.
It also led me to research where Halloween truly came from (why do we celebrate it as we do and how did it used to be celebrated and what the reasons were/are?). There are several resources to look at the day from a purely historical perspective and I encourage you to go find them. Google and the Library have great resources.
These days, for me, Halloween, aka Samhain, is a gentle reminder to take a day out of the year to remember my family and friends who have passed on. It’s a bit like Memorial day in The Unided States, where we take time to remember and thank all of our service men and women, because we are conveniently reminded on a calendar. It is what it is…
I use the day to not only remember them, but celebrate the fact that they were here and gave me pleasant memories to look back on and smile every once in awhile during the rest of the year. It’s also a chance to say thank you and move on from any past grievances if any come up. Whether or not the message gets through is hard to say but at the very least, I feel better, and the positive effects of purposely taking time to do this last for quite awhile.
If it makes you feel better, I promise you I’m not doing the devil’s work and practicing necromancy. That literally could be dangerous, not to mention a bit more icky than handling the purely decorative plastic corpses that adorn my living room.
Anyway, I hope you have a Happy Halloween, Blessed Samhain, and/ or, have a fantastic day everyone!