Sunday, October 31, 2010

That Religious Guy: All Hollows Evening

..... 'Tis the night of Halloween and unlike many ghouls and goblins, I'm busy at my aunt's house finishing home work. Quite glamorous I know. Regardless of whether you're trick or treating or attending one of the many parties tonight, there's one thing you can't escape: that overwhelming sensation of Halloween. There's just something in the air on this night of nights. Cob webs seem to be more decorative than usual instead of a constant nuisance to house keepers everywhere. Grave stones are back in style. On this October evening, we are allowed to dress up as whatever we want, provided our outfits inspire screams or giggles. All the negative hype about this holiday is really unfounded. Halloween is a positive experience, an activity that every kid should celebrate.

..... Halloween has always been a religious holiday. To the pagans it was Samhain and to Christians it remains All Hollows Evening, the night before All Hollows Day, which is more commonly known as All Saints' Day. To the millions of participants nowadays, however, the event which brings tricks or treats is simply called Halloween. Many individuals tend to denounce this holiday as an evil celebration of death, demons, and magic. Thumping their Bibles, they point to passages that attack such elements. Sadly, these people miss the point.

..... As I gave away candy this year dressed up as a headless man, an outfit which really frightened a lot of kids, I realized that rather than weakening the morality of children, Halloween strengthens them. By being able to point and laugh at the ridiculousness of things that go bump in the night, young people realize that fear shouldn't be an obstacle in their lives. While one might argue that certain components of the holiday are bad (e.g. inappropriate outfits, vandalism, etc.), Halloween is overall a good influence.

..... After all, on what other day can one knock on his neighbor's door and receive treats, all the while dressed in an awesome costume? Halloween is no longer a dark pagan extravaganza. It has become a unifying institution in American culture. Seeing people young and old walking to different houses and meeting neighbors (maybe for the first time) is always a good thing, especially in today's social climate.

..... So break out your cauldrons and count your sugary loot because the night is not over yet! Happy Halloween!

- Jeremy Dela Cruz, veteran trick-or-treater.

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