How Should You Celebrate Halloween?

Nick Gomez
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All Hallows’ Eve. Dark and haunting, mystical and exciting. It just sounds good doesn’t it? It’s the most scandalous of holidays, it’s the theme of mischief and frivolity. This goes some way to explain the outfit choices that appear on the streets and at club parties.

For different ages Halloween can mean a variety of things and create all sorts of memories. Children around the world will go out in the evening in costumes, going door to door, Trick or Treating. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the privilege, but there must be such a simple fun in playing pretend, and getting sweets for it! Growing up, everyone enjoys carving a pumpkin, whether with scary faces or kooky ones. Seeing streets filled with glowing orange orbs, the labours of man, woman and child carved on them, is wonderful to see. It’s good, simple fun.

Then adulthood comes, or rather alcohol, which changes Halloween completely. Something about being liberated from home life for the first time makes university students determined to relive their childhoods by dressing up in costumes at any occasion, getting up to whatever they want. Adding drinking to the fun has created a crazy, sexy version of Halloween. Clubs have obviously caught on to this financial gold mine and started throwing Halloween themed nights not only on the Eve itself but on the weekends surrounding it. Is that what Halloween is now?

Television, particularly American TV, has an obsession with Halloween themed episodes. Every year shows work though the middle of their current seasons with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas then New Year’s episodes. Pretty Little Liars like to ramp up their drama with a big reveal Halloween episode every year, where ornate and perfectly representative outfits garnish everyone. But does anyone really rent or create such extravagant costumes? Not that I’ve seen, outside comic-con. This Halloween obsession is creating false hopes for what this, initially, Christo-pagan-religio-whatever season of Saint Celebration, meant to be about honouring the dead.

I have been to some great house parties for Halloween, with spider shaped cookies and luminescent green punches, but I feel like that time is over now that university is done with. Last year, I opted to relive the drunk days by going to a, literally, underground club with some barely legal costumed students. My friends and I had some good outfits and we got a little more than tipsy but the next day, and later in the evening, it felt like it made Halloween more gimmicky and less fun. Which is, I suppose, how some feel about commercialism and Christmas. It’s ruining it.

This year, I won’t be dance bound, but will instead be watching some Halloween themed movies, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, carving pumpkins and handing out candy to the next generation of kids on my street when they come a knocking. I hope by sticking to some tried and tested (new) traditions about Halloween, I can recapture the supernatural, exciting, naive joy of All Hallows’ Eve.

What does Halloween mean for you? And how will you be celebrating the autumnal season?

About Nick Gomez

From a young age I've constantly been reading, writing, drawing and generally creating stories, worlds and characters for fun. This led to a degree in English Literature and Language at University. A passion for writing, especially about my own experiences, and ideas that pop into my head help me to understand myself and the world around me. Twittering @nickawgomez