18 September 2018
With the smell of nutmeg, festive colors garnishing the town, spooky decorations and creative costumes, Halloween offers unique experiences that no other holidays do. Halloween is great because we make it be whatever we need it to be and because it is exciting. Halloween creates a change in people that brings out their best, and the earlier that people start preparing, then the more that their best shines through.
This is why I will always propose that it is never too early to start preparing for Halloween.
While the origin of Halloween is skewed across several pre-Christian European traditions, its current existence lacks any real religious tones. This lack of tone allows the holiday to escape from past definitions or pressures, and redefine itself as a non-conformable cultural event: it allows Halloween to be what we make it.
By preparing for this holiday early, you can truly experience all Halloween has to offer.
The ways that we entertain ourselves as a culture serves as a way for us to exorcise the demons within ourselves.
Before the current popularity of Halloween, we saw most of that being done in film. Anne Bilson, in a piece for The Guardian titled “Crash and squirm,” discussed how horror movies are used to explore the fears we normally cannot talk about.
Halloween has taken that out of the hands of the film industry and put it into our hands, as we visit haunted houses and make costumes to frighten each other, doing what the horror industry did for us previously.
When we frighten and prepare each other like this, we are practicing a form of therapy on each other that serves the dual purpose of entertainment, and what is not to like about that?
While the fear aspects of Halloween is important, it has just as much about our creativity. Author Seth Godin described Halloween as an “arms race of creativity” on his blog titled “Secular Christmas + Creative = Halloween,” and that is certainly true, with people one-upping each other each year.
Prepping for Halloween early can also give you the chance to perform and seek out parts of yourselves that are have previously been unexplored, by practicing or roleplaying your costume. Society encourages us to hide parts of us that cause embarrassment or make others uncomfortable and Halloween is the one time of year where it’s acceptable for a burly bearded guy to walk around in a dress and feel pretty, and people should always be allowed to feel pretty if they want.
Other holidays have so much social pressure and expectation built into them that the stress they cause turns people into miserable sacks of flesh, as they lose all personality and become drones to tradition. Never do you see more aggressive, lifeless people pursuing a single task than when you go to Chapel Hills or the Citadel in December during the holiday rush. Imagery of peace and harmony contradict the actual behavior of people.
Halloween does not instill the same extended aggression in people, and we all benefit from it.
Start preparing for Halloween right now, and never stop.