What is my verdict on Halloween? Should I even have a verdict, or is the occasion not worth the bother of writing this post?
Actually, I think it is worth the bother. Halloween may not be massive as far as retailers are concerned. People don’t usually buy expensive products on Halloween, unlike during Valentine’s Day, Mothers/Father’s Day and, of course, Christmas. And people don’t consume an excessive amount of food, kicking Halloween out of Thanks Giving and Christmas league.
But Halloween has its place as a cultural practice. In fact, it is comparable only to Christmas in its sense of tradition and festiveness. You can buy Halloween decorations, you can dress up, and you can make certain foods. In fact, I’ve made a graveyard themed cake this Halloween. Check it out below.
|SPOOKING THINGS UP: You wouldn't guess that this is a chocolate cake, would you?|
|The 'soil' was made out of crushed Oreos, and the tombstones are made out of gingerbread|
But you have to ask the question: does this do any good, or, more importantly, does it do any bad? Is Halloween devil worship? Look, the way I see it, admiring the Sex Pistols or Russell Brand is closer to devil worshiping than Halloween is. You see, unlike with the ghosts and ghouls that patrol shop windows and front gardens on Halloween, people actually take these modern nutcases (Russell Brand in particular) seriously. Mr. Brand’s opinions on drugs are considered important stuff, and the logic behind this: Brand took drugs, so he’s in a perfect position to tell us if we should legalise them or not. Interestingly, Brand has said that he doesn’t want drugs to be made legal as that would give the ‘wrong’ impression about these dangerous poisons, but he does believe that users shouldn’t be ‘criminalised’ (they’re not ‘criminalised’, they criminalise themselves by doing something that is illegal). This, of course, makes little to no sense.
I’m sure there is some people would think me passionately anti-Halloween. Being a conservative bigot, and even worse a *Christian* conservative bigot, I am naturally inclined to dismiss the holiday as something harmful that promotes lawlessness.
These people couldn’t be more wrong.
It is true that, sometimes, Halloween gets out of control. During the 1970s and 80s in Detroit it was common for groups of youths to set fire to buildings. They called this rampage of arson ‘devil’s night’. But is it right to say that Halloween ‘made’ them do it? I don’t know about you, but doesn’t that type of determinism sound awfully Left Wing? Should we be seeking ‘social justice’?
No, Halloween doesn’t cause crime because people have free will, and to say that Halloween does equates to saying that these youths in Detroit had no control over their actions, which means that they cannot be punished for their crimes. This crap, widely accepted by the political elite, is a principle reason why crime has increased: the new wisdom goes something like this: people are not responsible for their actions; they are the products of their circumstances. They must be cured of the disease of crime with benefits, governments housing, State healthcare and comprehensive education. They should not be ‘criminalised’ (in the Russell Brand sense) because they cannot be held responsible for their actions. They are, in fact, ‘offenders’.
So, if you believe that Halloween encourages lawlessness, you must also subscribe to the view I have just stated above. This is why I cannot accept the idea that Halloween causes crime. Some people abuse it – criminals – but they would find any reason to cause trouble, and should be punished for committing them, so as to show others what will happen if they follow suit.
Probably another question concerns the religious nature of Halloween. Is it a Pagan celebration? Is it incompatible with Christianity? I remember, when I was in primary school, a boy telling the teacher he couldn’t make a Halloween card because his religion (Christianity) didn’t allow it. Well, let’s clear something up here: there is no evidence to link the origins of Halloween with Paganism – it is all merely speculation, probably true, but speculation nonetheless. And even if there is evidence should that change our opinions of the holiday? The Christmas tree, Santa Clause, and the birthday of Christ, are all routed in Paganism, does that mean that we shouldn’t commemorate Jesus’ birth on December 25th? No. The routes matter little; it is the meaning that’s important. Do most people actually worship ghosts and ghouls? No, they trivialise them. Also, Halloween has links to Christianity – Halloween is ‘Hallows’ Eve’, the eve of All Saints’ Day (1ST November), which precedes All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. During these times, we honour the saints and pray for the recently departed. In fact, some say the origin of trick-or-treating came from this holy day, when soul cakes were made and shared for ‘all Christen souls’ – the practice is known as ‘Souling’.
So, Halloween is not some anti-Christian evil that is a danger to us all. Very few people observe the ‘Paganism’ in Halloween, and people are responsible for their own actions. Halloween today is mainly centred on a desire to be scared. It has been linked up with ‘horror’, as a genre, and now serves as more of a appreciation of that genre than something more potent.
My advice: KEEP CALM, AND CARVE A PUMPKIN.