Halloween has always been a confusing topic for me. For one, I have never heard of this event until I came to the United States and for the first few years, my conservative Christian relatives restricted any kind of participation in trick or treating, wearing any types of costumes, or even use the word Halloween. In the Day Care where my mother works, Halloween is prohibited and one week before Halloween, parents are given a long paper explaining why this celebration is wicked and evil. For my childhood perspective, all I understood of Halloween was people dressed up in costumes of their choice and at night, they go around to collect candy. In my teenage years, I was finally granted the freedom to go out with my friends and participate but since I spent too many years in what seemed like captivity, I couldn’t get into the “spirit” of Halloween as much as my friends.
Another few years have passed since that time, it happens to be October, and I’m still wondering what Halloween actually stands for. After spending some time researching about how Halloween was started and what it actually meant for, I was surprised. Its purpose is to celebrate those who have passed and dedicate time into honoring the dead. There were also abundance of information on how different religion groups interpret Halloween because it is associated to another celebration or because of their viewpoint of supernatural phenomenons. It was interesting to learn that many Christian Protestant groups do acknowledge Halloween and don’t shun its practices.
So, now that I have explored what my personal experiences of Halloween was and the history of it too, I realized that, in my case, Halloween is just another evidence of difference in people’s perceptions, upbringings, and morals. It’s another topic for people to fight over, debate about, and determine whether it is worth it for that individual to celebrate. It’s very hard though, because Halloween has transformed, throughout the years, into this expensive, at times over the top, highly-advertised day where it has one of the highest crime rates in the whole year, the candy consumption is through the roof, and people actually justify some vice behavior with the fact that it is Halloween.
Don’t get me wrong, Halloween is fun. It’s just interesting how Halloween is one of those subject that can be perceived in so many ways yet some communities insist their view is the correct one which should reign all other perspectives. If we all take a few step back, educate ourselves first then act accordingly to what we, as individuals believe in, then there will be less confusions on who to follow and what to associate yourself with. Knowing what something stands for and dissecting why things are the way they are can be one of the most important tools in determining your decisions on a unstable topic.
by NAY MINTIN