Something Wicked This Way Comes
I love Halloween!
I admit it. I’m a 51-year old woman whose favorite holiday is Halloween. Just ask my neighbors. While Christmas is a close second, it doesn’t come near to how we celebrate Halloween at my house. This year we took at least 25 boxes out of the attic with our Halloween decorations. Here’s our house last year and that’s just the outside.
Why the obsession?
Part of it is, I believe, because I spent ages 9 to 16 living outside the US. Halloween – despite its Celtic origins has been predominantly an American phenomenon in the past 100 years at least as a secular celebration. There were no costumes, no jack-o-lanterns, and no trick-or-treating in Greece or West Germany when I lived there. We had to create our own Halloween and celebrate it in a small way with other Americans living overseas.
But another reason may be because I now associate Halloween with the celebration of those we love who have passed. This has become a time for us to remember. And so not only does my family celebrate Halloween on October 31st we also continue to observe the Day of the Dead on November 1st, All Saints’ Day and November 2nd, All Soul’s Day. We light candles, display photos, and do other personal gestures to commemorate family members, friends, and even pets who have died. It also serves to remind us that life can be fleeting and that we must make the most of our life while we can. This apparent focus on death at this time of year might seem morbid and unusual to some, but I know with the proliferation of the Day of the Dead imagery in mass media this must appeal to a great deal of others as well.
This year I hope you will join my family on Halloween and the days after to remember your deceased loved ones and their legacy but also consider what your legacy might be when you are celebrated after your passing. Are you prepared?