Saturday, 12 October 2013
Day 12: Why Halloween Is Important
While I did write an awesome post for SON OF CELLULOID, I wanted to explain a little further the general importance of the Holiday. All the reasons I mentioned in my SOC post are personal, and while this is also going to be personal for me, mostly I want to discuss things like THIS and why it bothers the hell out of me.
Halloween isn't just about kids eating tons of candy and getting sugar comas. Nor is it just a commercial holiday. That would be like telling people Christmas is just about presents. More and more I see people trying to water down Halloween into an easy-to-swallow pill, and it infuriates me. Because Halloween is the one holiday left that isn't ABOUT watering shit down. Halloween is about darkness, self expression and overcoming fear. Samhain, the holiday Halloween is derived from, is a sacred pagan holiday that honors the dead and the darker side of life. Because during this time, the veils between worlds were thin, winter's chill can be felt in the air and the harvest was nearing an end. To me, it's still about this, as well as all the silly stuff I do to celebrate. Halloween is fun because it is a personal holiday for everyone that we can choose to share with others if we want to. Christmas makes you feel guilty for wanting to spend it alone, but that's not the same for Halloween. At Christmas time we are told we must spend time with family, buy them gifts, feed them and sing carols. Halloween says do what you want. Dress up, eat junk food, watch horror movies and explore the darkness a little. And because of these reasons, Halloween get's the most flack out of all the holidays.
The article I liked to claims that Halloween isn't inclusive. And it's bullshit. HALLOWEEN BY NATURE IS ONE OF THE MOST INCLUSIVE HOLIDAYS OUT THERE. More so than Christmas in my opinion, which also was threatened for similar reasons by schools. There are a number of activities that can be done around this time that don't involve a persons race, gender or anything exclusive like that. ANYONE CAN WEAR A COSTUME. And the power of a costume is you get to be something else for a while. It's expressive. And I'm sure the thought of children expressing themselves just terrifies those in power.
Let's just call a spade a spade here. The reason that the schools in Ontario changed Halloween to Spirit Day isn't because they were trying to be inclusive. It was a power play. It was a way to control kids, because having children dressed up in a way that MAY obscure their looks frightens those in power. The masks scare them. They can't control what they can't see. And the fact this is happening in my old backyard, in CANADA, saddens me.
See folks, even Canadians can overreact to shit.
In closing, all I want is for people to let others express things in their own way. Stop trying to control people's actions out of fear. If anything Halloween is a celebration of overcoming fear. Of facing it head on. Yes it's a holiday about monsters, death, the unknown and other scary things. It's also about giving, harvest, expression and play. So stop trying to suck the fun out of my holiday! If no one is actually getting hurt, and people are having fun, it can't be that bad.