What is Halloween About to You?

Trying to figure this out… what Halloween is about? Is it always pumpkins, witches, bats and ghouls, or is there something more? Can it be about anything surreal or spooky? Provided there’s a big moon in an image, or a black cat, is it Halloween? If there’s no big moon, does it stop being Halloween?

I’ve been looking around the internet, and so far I’ve seen the following perceptions:

If it’s a scary face on anything except a pumpkin, it’s not Halloween.

It’s a holiday of the imagination.

It’s a bridge between the spiritual and the physical world.

It’s about dressing up and having fun.

It’s about ghosts having a last-night fling.

It’s about stealing sweets from kids.

It’s about everything negative, scary and evil.

I think I’m going for a lie-down — I’ve had too much coffee. 🙂

The Halloween category at deviantArt.

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10 responses

  1. being a grump i ignore it!!

  2. I think it’s about selling Halloween paraphernalia.

  3. Most of the time I’m with you there, Pete. 🙂 But I’ve a feeling I gave trick or treat sweets to a little boy who hadn’t even come trick-or-treating… I don’t know what he did want.

    The thing is, Pacian, you can’t sell Halloween paraphernalia if they happen to disagree with you that it’s about Halloween. More might come about that later…

  4. Lol. I’ve never been trick or treating or anything. For me, Halloween is kind of like a ‘stay in and watch scary movies’ night. I’ve also had an ‘anti-halloween’ when I watch romance movies instead!

    Having said that, I really don’t think All Hallows Eve is meant to be about evil spirits. It makes me want to look it all up and do some research!

  5. Halloween is AWESOME with a capital A.
    I know I’m biased. My birthday is the day before, and all my life I’ve had a halloween theme birthday. Plus I love costumes and spooky stuff, so an excuse to dress up in costume as an adult?
    AWESOME.
    I love the little kids in costume coming to my door.
    I love watching cheesy spooky movies.
    I love it all 🙂

  6. Normally I ignore Halloween (beyond a certain point) but have been slowly tumbling to the fact that it’s almost as visual a holiday as Christmas. Now I’m interested. 🙂 I know what you mean by wanting to research it, Liz… Mum said I should go the the library and read books and write a paper! Har.

  7. PS For cheesy spooky movies we’ve had The Grinch tonight. 🙂

  8. Halloween… If I remember correctly, we celebrate that more over here than in Britain? Or is it becoming more of a holiday over there?

    As a child, it meant a wonderful night out (on my own, back then — would never happen now) gathering up candy. My costumes were never that elaborate, though I enjoyed seeing what people would come up with. It was about being out after dark, able to wander around as I wished.

    As an adult, Halloween is more of a marker for the change from summer to fall. Where I live, summer stays late, through September and October: even though the days are shorter and trees & flowers start to falter a little, they are warm and sunny still. But by Halloween, there’s a bite in the air, even if only by nightfall. And summer is definitely over.

  9. Oh, and All Hallow’s Eve, or Samhain, is when the barrier between the worlds (living and dead) are thinner than at other times. It’s about spirits in general, not so much that they’re intrinsically good or evil. In hispanic cultures (in Mexico with which I’m most familiar), the next day, November 1st, is All Saints Day, when the dead are commemorated. I don’t know about other places, but in Mexico, on El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) families will go out and have parties at the cemetaries where their loved ones have been buried. You go there, tend to the grave, pretty it up, flowers, etc. Then you have a picnic lunch, and the desserts etc will have what we’d think of as halloween theme: skulls, dancing skeletons, etc. To American eyes, it all looks very macabre, but it’s actually a pretty happy holiday — stories are told of the ones that have passed on, etc.

  10. Hi BEG, I think Halloween here is a take-it-or-leave-it affair, mostly. Some shops decorate their windows and bring in Halloween paraphernalia, but some don’t. We haven’t had children trick-or-treating for a few years now.

    But I was saying to Mum it’s a more interesting holiday than I thought, and she said her mother was always very fond of it. She might have been into ‘dooking for apples’, I don’t know… it was a game that puzzled me completely when I was introduced to it as a child. 🙂

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