The leaves are turning colors. Heating bills are on the rise, and thrift stores are running out of gross old sweaters. But this fall holiday season is markedly different from most celebrations in America.
While it’s almost cliche to gripe about the “commercial cha-ching of tellers a-ringing during holidays, Halloween is the one holiday today that turns the other way, moving you away from the Goodwill and towards goodwill to others.This is why Halloween is the greatest holiday celebrated in America.
While holidays like Easter and Christmas have become wrapped up by big corporations and blaring TV infomercials pound out slogans on all channels, Halloween still maintains the community spirit, focusing on giving and neighborly fun.
The Halloween tradition is one of the few widespread American traditions of communities, engaging everyone in an area in a public experience of festivities, bringing children to the streets, (half-jokingly) shaking down adults for sugary sweets and reveling in the otherwise off-limits areas, crawling up and down the block for more.
In a time of increased media attention to the dangers of letting your children out of your sight for more than 2 minutes at a time, this cavalier trust in strangers has an almost anachronistic charm, an island of old-fashioned Americana, out of synch with a hyped up, fast-paced culture of self-centered neuroticism. Halloween’s spooky occult contrasts with our modern obsession with the raw, factual, and quantifiable; with Halloween, the unknown, hidden behind costumes and hiding somewhere in the dark becomes very real.
Halloween is a holiday of fun, not worship or remembrance or commemorating some solemn event. Halloween is a holiday that brings fun to the forefront, celebrating community and neighborhood fun.
Even though most of the halloween festivities are limited to children, people of all ages enjoy the holiday, and students even in highschool still have plans to participate in this year’s spooky celebration. Some students still want to go trick-or-treating this year, even after they’ve passed the “typical” age to stop. “I think that if they put effort into their costumes, they should trick-or-treat no matter their age,” said senior Ciara Freitas. “Halloween is a holiday for all ages.”
This attitude towards Halloween shows that even though there is a lot of pressure for Halloween to be delegated to a children’s holiday, there are still people who enjoy the holiday’s unique and fun attitude.