FFS here we go again – Halloween; just a night of innocent fun for little kids or simply a dose of clever marketing and commercialism, or maybe even something more sinister?
These questions are hauled out in the tabloids year after year and everyone has a differing viewpoint as to the actual answer. Many of those opinions will probably be based upon age and whether or not you have little kids at home. I won’t even try to answer the question after all, it’s one of those ‘traditions’ we’re unfortunately stuck with.
I’m not opposed to people having fun per se, neither am I the killjoy that the ‘Grumpy’ nom de plume would have you believe. I just find it offensive and totally unacceptable when people’s so-called ‘fun’ has a negative impact upon others. Halloween (like Mischief Night) is often just an excuse for the chav skiprats to display even greater levels of annoying shitdom and antisocial behaviour than normal.
I am a fervent supporter of genuine tradition, of historical fact (and fiction) however; I find it distasteful when some smart arse marketing guru seizes on the opportunity to make hordes of cash from it. I also find it incredulous when participants in the pseudo ‘tradition’ have absolutely no idea why they are doing what their doing, or indeed the history behind the event.
I can cope (just) with the overtly exhibitionist parents who trail their little precocious ghoulish treasures around the streets early doors. Some of the costume designs and makeup, applied for hours by proud mother earlier in the day, do actually deserve a small reward. It’s the teenagers that get me, the ones who put on a cheep mask or don a bin linner then bash hell out of the front door. You answer and menacingly they demand “trick or treat Mr” whilst thrusting their grubby hand forward.
I usually play dumb and ask them what the phrase means or, maybe advise them that going door to door begging is actually against the law in England. If I do get a reply to my questioning the reply is usually along the lines of “you give us some sweets or we slash your tyres”! How do we actually combat this constant march of Jack’s Lantern and the American comercial claptrap bollocks? Perhaps we need to go back in history to the ethos that dictates an Englishmans home is his castle?
Time to pull up the drawbridge and position the pots of hot oil on the ramparts I suppose!
Halloween: an annual holiday observed on October 31, primarily in Canada, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom. It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saints’ Day, but is today largely a secular celebration. (Read more at Wikipedia)
- What’s Samhain? (livescience.com)
- 10 Gorgeous Pumpkin Carving Designs to Inspire Your Halloween (pamil-visions.net)
- The Meaning of “Halloween” (thedailybeast.com)
- Stack those Jack-O-Lanterns! (myballard.com)
- “A Brief History of the Jack O’ Lantern…” and related posts (laurencejarvikonline.blogspot.com)
- Curious Customs: Stories Behind Popular Holidays – Halloween (brighthub.com)