A Few Thoughts About Halloween

I love Halloween. That special time of the year when the ground becomes covered with colorful leaves but the greenery of grass hasn’t disappeared yet. That time when the dark hour arrives earlier and the cold outside calls for a cozy stay by the fireplace with a pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a good novel in another.  As someone from Christian background, I’m supposed to be against this holiday because it’s allegedly linked to witchcraft and sorcery, but I’m not. Because even it has pagan roots (which most of the modern holidays do, believe it not), there is more good than bad in Halloween.

For starters, dressing up is proven to be good for small children. Most of the modern psychologists agree that pretend play promotes creativity, imagination, and self-confidence [1]. It’s  also nice to have something between summer and the holiday season—a small occasion to get your house decorated in spooky pumpkins and to find a cute costume of your child’s favorite fairy tale character.

Even if you don’t have kids yet, you’ll probably agree that it’s a perfect opportunity to stock up on chocolate and pretend it’s all for the trick-o-treaters. Some also like dressing up and going out with friends and/or significant others. It’s a perfect opportunity to get out of the house during the cold time of the year when staying home seems like the only thing on your mind (oh, did I mention pumpkin spice lattes by the fireplace?).

But there’s one particular thing I don’t like about this holiday.

Seeing plastic bloodied hands and feet on people’s front yards makes me cringe. It makes me think about those who fled war-torn countries or experienced violence in some other form. It reinforces a bad image of the millennial generation, often perceived as technology-obsessed, entitled, and lacking depth. Which is sad because being a millennial myself, I want my generation to be remembered in a positive way (hardworking, nurturing, and progress-forward). I find such decorations particularly distasteful in light of recent events that happened on Danforth, in Pittsburg, and elsewhere around the world. Anyone who had been following the news would probably find it hard to disagree.

I don’t mind pumpkins. I would probably have one at my porch if we were living in a house. Even skeletons are OK. After all, a skeleton is simply our natural bone structure which has somehow turned into a symbol of all things scary. It’s just the gory part that I cannot accept. I may be living in a relatively safe part of the world (and I highlight “relatively” because no part in the world is truly safe), but I’m still capable of feeling empathy.

Death and suffering are not funny and should not be treated as a joke. So let’s be considerate of each other’s feelings when choosing decorations.

Happy Halloween!

*Disclaimer: if you’ve already decorated your front yard with plastic body parts and are reading this article, please know that I don’t mean to come off as judgmental. I simply wanted to the raise the issue of world violence and empathy towards others.

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