Halloween is complete magic. There’s just no legitimate argument to dispute this wonderful fact. While it’s true that some consumers, encouraged no doubt by a hypnotic siren call of retail stores and advertising, may go a bit overboard in celebration – i.e. buying tons of candy, costumes and decorations – there’s a reason for such intense holiday partying. Aside from all the darkness associated with the day, not counting the more violent imagery connected with Halloween, it’s truly a wonder to behold. It’s a time where we can become anyone or anything, and operate purely on instinct and be childlike, completely in awe at the day’s glorious fun and supernatural trappings.
It’s now been a fact for awhile that Halloween brings in more dollars to the stores for decorations than Christmas or any other holiday. That business busting fact, while stunning or staggering to some, is no real surprise. Even the most boring among us likes to have a little in the way of something different decorating our usually mundane homes from time to time. Neighbors engaging in a little friendly competition to see who decorates most outrageously for the day encourages the visual wonder and is just plain fun.
Trick Or Treat or Treasure
Halloween dazzles us all as the great leveler when it comes to being the holiday encouraging the all inclusive celebration. Indeed, even Independence Day may scare off the less patriotic among us, but morphing into a vampire bat or swishing around in Dracula’s black cape is perfectly fine, thank you very much. What of the church, temple or synagogue? Religion need not apply here, as it does for Christmas, Ramadan or Hanukkah. After all, your religious affiliation or lack thereof, has no impact on the enjoyment of Jack O Lantern jolly day, or dressing up as Pinhead in Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” or Freddy from “Nightmare On Elm Street”. Christians, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus alike can put on a mask and cape and tote an empty sack or plastic pumpkin, only to return home with an overflowing mix of tooth decaying confections.
Costume Masquerade As Therapy?
Can Halloween actually be mentally or spiritually healing? Can wearing a weird mask or hiding behind an identity concealing, or fright inducing costume effectively improve our mood or even provide respite from stress and trauma? The simple fact is that when we buy a new wardrobe and slip into new clothing, we feel better. A new suit, a swank new dress can boost anyone’s sagging spirit. Slap on a new pair of shoes and we’re feeling a bit new and reborn ourselves. Similarly, Halloween allows us to become something new, something different, something perhaps ‘better’ than ourselves. Look at actors. TV, film and stage actors dress up in costumes and slather on make-up each and every day for years at a time. They’re paid well to become someone else. Such daily behavior must do something to the human psyche. This Halloween personality freedom liberates us – even only for a day or two – yet, such a healing balm may just be what our flagging spirit needs, at least to feel better one day out of the year.