…not quite, but we are getting there. My decorations are up, mine and the handful of neighbors’ who celebrate. If asked what we’re celebrating, most of us would talk about the holiday being simply fun. Halloween is the answer I give when asked what my favorite holiday is.
But technically, I don’t celebrate holidays, not in the strict definition of the term meaning, “holy day.” Different cultures and religions take part in an array of traditions, feasts, and activities on and around October 31st, calling the day or the evening by names like The Day of the Dead, Blue Christmas, Samhain, or Hop-ti-Naa. I grew up calling the last evening of October Halloween, but even that name has religious origins.
My favorite day needs a new name.
Halloween is my New Years Eve, as it is for many pagans, the night that feels like an end and a beginning, a new turning of the wheel. It isn’t a holy day for me, connected to or concerned with any deity, but a day to reflect upon and celebrate the cycle of life and death. It is the end of autumn in the Celtic calendar, the calendar that makes sense to me. While some Halloween traditions were borne from religion, a blend of them set my senses alight:
Haunted houses—This is primarily the entertainment attractions. I’ve explored purportedly haunted hotels and houses and have been on several ghost tours, welcoming spiritly interaction, and have been disappointed. But I do love a good haunted attraction. I’ve been to some impressive over-the-top houses of haunts and some eerie ones, but my favorite is still the Haunted Mansion at Disney World.
Scary movies—What can I say about this that I haven’t covered in previous blogs? I guess I haven’t yet said that I’m optimistically awaiting Guillermo del Toro’s haunted Mansion film, and I’m available to write the screenplay.
Flickering jack-o-lanterns—Although some sources posit that these glowing gourds hark back to superstitions and fears I don’t subscribe to, I love them. One story is that jack-o-lanterns originated to frighten off evil spirits, but it seems like evil spirits would like them.
Witches, skeleton, ghosts, and all manner of spook—I don’t know; I just like them, okay? It’s all about the spooks for me, in one form or another. So I think I’ve come up with my name for my favorite celebration day, just eighteen nights from tonight.