Halloween is the one time a year geeks and non-geeks alike can unite in the hallowed fÃªte of costumed festivity. Rooted in ancient Celtic traditions of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saints’ Day, the secular holiday still provides, year after year, haunted houses, well-lit, meticulously-arranged jack-o’-lanterns and great memories. The celebration offers an excellent chance for people of all ages to enjoy some of the more important things in life: candy, jolts and scares, and most importantly, the art of make-believe.
Too often, university students feel as though they have outgrown the holiday. Once a year, complete strangers open their doors and hand you free treats. The very essence of Halloween lies in taking a break from your everyday life and dressing up: that means a costume, and not just showing up on your neighbour’s front porches and asking for a handout. If you are not going to participate, stay home or go to a party, but definitely don’t go trick-or-treating.
Children continue to rake in record amounts of candy and amassing wide fortunes of sweets, sometimes having to carry them in garbage bags. Take this as an opportunity to stock up on candy for at least the next month (a Tootsie Roll or four can be the perfect energy booster for those upcoming late nights where you’ll be studying for finals).
If you’re going to be giving out candy this year, broccoli and carrots are not an alternative. If you want to make a statement against cavities, hyperactive children and youth obesity, just turn off your lights and don’t answer your door when the bell rings. Kids and adults need their candy fix.
The most important thing to remember is that Halloween is supposed to be fun. There is probably nothing more satisfying than scaring trick-or-treaters or your friends on this night.
Fear flickers across their faces, terrified screams pierce the dark night sky, and echo as they scamper away, while you and others laugh uncontrollably, trying desperately to contain yourselves as the terrified looks on the victim’s faces slowly disappear, realizing it was all a hoax.
From the years of our adolescence to adulthood, too many of us slowly lose the so-called childish ability to “make believe.” Remember how Mr. Rogers in his sweater, Fred Penner and his guitar, and Big Bird and the gang on Sesame Street moved us through the imaginary Technicolor world of our childhood.
It was in this pretend planet where we once lived as kids, dressing up as knights or princesses, space conquerors and rock stars, living out the fantasies of our minds. Through peer pressure or social acceptance, we have traded away these worlds for other, self-narrating media. From the books we read, to movies we watch, the singers that croon to us, the salt has lost its taste and failed to capture the core of our very being. We must never forget that the best movies, greatest soundtracks, and most interesting tales play on the most giant screen of all: our imagination.
In the joy and spirit of Halloween, get dressed and get out there, regardless of your age. And scare some kids.