All Hallows' Even

Who doesn’t like Hallowe’en?

When people ask me what my favourite holiday is, I usually say Christmas. Other options that go through my head are Thanksgiving, Easter–you know, the big ones. For some reason, I never think about Hallowe’en. But darned if every year doesn’t come by and I remember how much I love this day.

I’ve played dressup for as long as I can remember. It probably has a lot to do with me being a writer these days. So Hallowe’en was especially awesome because it was a time when dressing up was rewarded. With candy. Plus everyone makes a big deal of it, which is always fun.

Of course, most of the time nobody knew who I was dressed up as. Ok, Luigi was a pretty basic one, and everyone knew Robin (I have an older brother so of course he was Mario and Batman). But then there was Cluny the Scourge, Aslan (everyone just thought I was ‘a lion’), and Raistlin. A few years ago I did Malcolm Reynolds. This year I’m Captain Hammer.

But the important part is I know who I am, and that’s all that matters.

It’s interesting to look at how Hallowe’en changes over the ages. And I don’t mean historically. (Though that’s also very interesting. The modern holiday has roots in the Celtic festival Samhain, a harvest festival and festival of the dead; and the Christian All Saints. Costumes worn were originally to protect one from the harmful spirits that wandered on All Hallows’ Even. The iconography of Hallowe’en came from death and demonic imagery combined with harvest time images. Jack-o-Lanterns came from an Irish myth of Stingy Jack, who tricked the devil and was cursed; the actual lantern was originally carved from a turnip, and didn’t become a pumpkin until the tradition reached North America.)

What I mean is how it changed for me. As a kid, it was all about dressing up and getting candy (and then eating it all in as few nights as possible, and then stealing from my more stingy brother). In more recent years, it would be a time for a small gathering with friends and Hallowe’en-themed games (usually a Hallowe’en-themed Dungeons & Dragons one-shot). Or it’s an excuse to party and drink a lot. While in costume.

And the costumes! I see kids trick-or-treating, and then I see high schoolers hanging around, and college students at parties… at some point, dressing up changes from being fun and fantasy to being about sex. And fantasy. And alcohol is the new candy.

So mostly, Hallowe’en is just about having fun, whatever form that takes–close friends, sexy strangers, kids with candy, and fun with fear.

Trick or treat?

(my Hallowe’en playlist includes: Ghostbusters, Flip City (from Ghostbusters II), the Time Warp, Thriller, This is Halloween, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Requiem for a Dream, The Monster Mash, theme from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Haunted House (from Super Mario World), Ghost Attack (from Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask), the Luigi’s Mansion theme, Overture to the Phantom of the Opera, and many more.)

4 comments on this post.
  1. Andrew:

    Yes! Best costumes ever. Captain Hammer and Malcolm Renyolds. Full of win.

  2. mom:

    Your brother wasn’t “stingy” with his candy, just not a “pig” with it! It still amazes me how long he can make a box of chocolates last…. not my chocoholic style at all. :)
    And yes, as the ‘little’ brother, you ended up with the ‘sidekick’ costumes, but you can’t dispute the fact the two of you were absolutely adorable as Mario and Luigi!

  3. mom:

    me again…. Just thought I’d put it “out there” that all those amazing costumes were designed and sewn by *me*! Aslan was a masterpiece. :)

  4. Lucas J.W. Johnson:

    Lesson learned: Always give a mother her due.
    Thanks, Mom

Leave a comment