Ah, October. It’s a time too early to be excited about the New Year yet too late to celebrate Thanksgiving. When most people think about October, however, they think about the last day in October: Halloween. The classic childhood practice of collecting candies from strangers while wearing costumes originates from the Celtic festival of Samhain, where Indians danced around the bonfire scaring away the spirits of the night (source: http://www.history.com/topics/halloween). But not to bore you with lengthy, comprehensive summaries of its history. The experience of Halloween changes drastically as the years go on.
I believe I was six years old the first, and probably the last, time I went trick-or-treating. I never went too far with the costume: just a simple hat and toy revolver was enough to emulate a cowboy. Neither was I too interested in the candy either. It was just the simple enjoyment of walking around the neighborhood with my friends at night that made the experience worthwhile.
I wouldn’t, however, say that there is an age when kids should stop going trick-or-treating. In fact, just recently, I saw one of my classmates one grade ahead of me walking around in a Darth Vader costume (I’m nearly halfway done with high-school). My next door neighbor, a live-alone, at-least-thirty-year-old doctor, has already put up cobwebs and orange lights in preparation for the candy rush.
What I don’t understand, though, is the fact that people tend not to put as much effort into Halloween as Christmas. Sure, there’s Christmas break and getting presents on Christmas morning, but aren’t both holidays? Doesn’t Google change its homepage logo for both days? The radio stations are playing Christmas music, but no one has written an official Halloween song?
The best Halloween spirit I’ve seen by far in my town is the Haunted Cornmaze (apparently popular with my Facebook friends) and Paranormal Activity 3 (also flooding the news feed). You probably won’t see very many people in my neighborhood trick-or-treating anymore, but decorations are still up and the horror movies are still being watched, not to mention my high-school friend’s My Little Pony outfit he’ll be wearing this year. Yeah, I was just kidding, but wouldn’t that be something?