901 Attorneys October 2019

Traditional Halloween Celebrations The Joy of Dressing Up!

In the past year or so, you might have heard about the recent Halloween movement that has become increasingly popular. The Halloween & Costume Association started a petition to move Halloween to the last Saturday in October in an effort to promote a “safer, longer, and stress-free” holiday. Their hope is that moving Halloween outside the work week will reduce the risks associated with walking around unfamiliar places at night by allowing families to trick-or-treat during daylight hours. I understand the logic behind moving the holiday’s date —being out of the house with children on Halloween night has always had its downsides due to poor visibility. However, many people argue that the true motivation behind moving the holiday is purely for commercial gain, and that this change would go against the hallowed Halloween traditions that have been celebrated for the past 2,000 years. Originally, Halloween, then called Samhain (SAH-win), was celebrated with bonfires and costumes. The ancient Celts believed that the spirit world and our world came together this night, allowing spirits to walk among the living. Dressing as wandering ghosts and ghouls was meant to keep the spirits safe. Even if some of the other traditions remain, I think we might miss the intended purpose of Halloween by moving the festivities to the last Saturday of the month. No matter the date of the celebration, the most important part of Halloween for me has always been dressing up in costume. Over the years, I’ve noticed that most kids choose store-bought costumes rather than scrounging around the house to come up with something to wear. When I was a kid, running around the house trying to figure out what I’d wear that year was

“When I was a kid, running around the house trying to figure out what I’d wear that year was a big part of Halloween.”

a big part of Halloween. My mom would help my brother and I find all sorts of odds and ends around the house and transform them into amazing costumes for us to wear. One year, my mom helped me cut up an old bed sheet, paint fake blood on it, and wrap me up so that I could trick-or-treat as a mummy. For my brother, we found a big plastic bag that we turned into a cape so he could wander the streets as Dracula. Every year we found something new to use, and there were no limits besides that of our creative imaginations. The ingenuity and effort that people put into creating one-of-a-kind costumes for themselves or for their kids is a part of Halloween that I truly enjoy. It’s about turning everyday objects

into ingenious costumes that you can only wear once the sun goes down on Oct. 31. There are a lot of great costumes for sale out there, but seeing kids in homemade ensembles brings back especially good memories of my brother and I trick-or-treating. No matter the date of Halloween, whether you’re planning on waiting by the door to hand out candy or going out with friends and family, stay safe and have fun creating fantastic memories.

-David McLaughlin

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