Friday, October 31, 2003

why i like halloween

i just can't get rid of this cold! i left work early today because i was still feeling sick and had a hard time being productive at work.

it really sucks to be sick today because it is halloween, one of my favorite holidays. i love halloween because its very straightforward. it's about scaring people, dressing in costumes, and eating candy. and i can say that without anyone chastizing me for missing "the true meaning of halloween." there is no true meaning. the meaning is scaring, costumes and candy. that's it. with other holidays if you do stuff like exchange presents, or eat big fatty meals, but you're not allowed to admit that the holiday is fun because of the presents or fat. everyone must pretend that something deeper is going on. halloween is the only holiday which you can enjoy for what it is without being accused of missing the point.

alright, i know someone is about to type a furious email to me informing me that halloween does have a true meaning. but i don't need a lecture about halloween's pagan roots, it doesn't change my point. there's a difference between the history of a holiday and what it means to us today. christmas also has pagan roots. few theologens believe jesus was born on december 25th. christians appropriated the date of a pre-christian holiday and used that date to celebrate jesus' birth. but just because it has pagan roots does not mean that its "true meaning" is pagan. the pagan origins are certainly is not what people bring up when they give me the "true meaning of christmas" lecture each december. likewise, just because halloween began as a pagan holiday (which christians also tried to appropriate, less successfully, with all saints day), doesn't mean it's the "true meaning" of that holiday today. there is no current "true meaning" of halloween beyond the scaring, costumes and candy as far as the general public* is concerned.

*this obvious does not apply to modern pagans who call halloween "samhain" and who are trying to revive the holiday's original pagan roots. i like pagans. i have several pagan friends and think it's generally a good thing to have more alternatives for anyone on the market for a religion. but i really hope that they don't screw up halloween.