I mean, I can eat shitty candy and dress up like something I’m not every day of the year; it’s called living in Western society.
I spent most of my teen years in the Netherlands, where, for a long time, Halloween was viewed as “such an American thing.” Dressing up was for themed and fancy parties behind closed doors, especially when you wanted to do it “sexy.” Bothering strangers in their homes was only cute when done by very small (silent) children. And that only happens here in the South on the day of some saint named Maarten.
More recently, people started viewing Halloween as another money maker. Between Easter and Sinterklaas (December 5) is a huge holiday gap, while holiday-themed trinkets sell so easily! Suddenly pumpkins weren’t just for eating and ordinary nights out would be 15 euros pricier because some skeletons covered the ceiling.
As I like to tell others, look away when you don’t like it, so — especially now, out of school/university — I do largely ignore it. My only real gripe with Halloween (here) is that it doesn’t live, it’s not something that’s part of our society, it’s cardboard. Now I don’t expect Halloween in other countries to be a 100% innocent and non-capitalistic, but at least it comes with a certain vibe, excitement.
Maybe I’m just too down-to-earth to appreciate all that silly things that go with Halloween and a bit too pessimistic about this just being for the money. Is anyone up for showing this Halloween Grinch the light? I’m really good in dressing up as something I’m not.
5 replies on “What’s the Fuss About Halloween?”
Interesting! I grew up somewhere where Halloween is definitely a Real Thing (even though the American influence is of course pervasive): I remember trick-or-treating every year with hordes of kids from the area; collecting wood and rubbish for our street bonfire for weeks; and the obligatory someone injuring themselves with fireworks… it’s one of my favourites, to be honest. Especially if you happen to find yourself somewhere rural to spend it in.
I do now suffer from costume inferiority complex, however…
I don’t get Halloween so much as an adult, but I love it for kids. I love allowing kids to play pretend and in this era of electronic entertainment, it’s something many kids would never get to do except for Halloween.
I love to give out candy and because I’m an elementary school teacher, I love seeing my kids get excited to dress up and play. They’re so adorable and they love it so much. I can’t get too grinchy about that.
No, never touching children’s parties.
I didn’t grow up in a culture that celebrates Halloween either. I have a very dim view of the holiday, particularly with the cultural appropriation sold in prepackaged kits. I don’t mind the sexy costume stuff as much, I think that should be personal preference, but it does seem like there aren’t many choices for women who don’t want to dress as the sexy version of something.
Also (and this is where I get judgmental) spending three weeks to plan a costume you wear for four hours in a bar with other people who sunk equal amounts of time and money into their costumes at a once-yearly masquerade party? Just smacks of too much effort. I’ll see you next week when my “I voted” sticker might get me a discounted drink.
Oh, agreed on effort. Although I used to go to Renaissance/fantasy fairs in half self-made outfits but at least they ..lasted the entire day?
Part of my grumble is jealousy as well, I want mindless fun and bad candy mixed up in one day between Christmas and Easter.