Halloween is a time for us to be someone we’re not.
From superheroes to villains, from goblins to ghouls and from clowns to royalty, Halloween is a time for it all. There are so many different costumes, ideas, decorations and candy. As long as you play it safe, Halloween is enjoyable.
For me, Halloween has always been about good fun. Dressing up as different characters or as different items is a fun experience. I haven’t gone trick-or-treating for a number of years, but that has never stopped me from dressing up, eating and distributing candy and watching my favourite Halloween movies.
Over the years I have dressed up in a variety of costumes. I already have my costume this year all worked out, but I’m not going to spoil it by saying what it is. The appeal of Halloween has not lost its appeal since I became an adult.
But when it comes down to it, Halloween is a fun day to be someone else. Normally we should try to avoid the social pressures of straying from who we are and never being happy with how we look or anything else of the sort.
I firmly believe this because we are all unique individuals who shouldn’t change who we are inside, except perhaps for the better. However, for one day and for one night, it is OK to be someone else. Sometimes pretending to be someone else is a great escape, if only for a short a time.
Of course we need to be grounded in reality as much as we can.
But hey, we all have our favourite characters in movies, television shows and books and mimicking those for one night is great.
Apart from all of that, though, Halloween actually dates back 2,000 years. An article, “History of Halloween,” on the LiveScience website said there was a Gaelic festival, Samhain, on Oct. 31. Samhain means “summer’s end” in Gaelic and it was an annual meeting at the end of harvest.
While a direct connection between Halloween and Samhain isn’t proven, a popular belief is that All Saints Day, also known as All Hallow’s Mass, celebrated on Nov. 1, and Samhain both influenced Halloween because they combine the main elements of both events. Leaders in Samhain ceremonies wore animal skins and heads, which might contribute to the costume tradition.
Halloween customs and beliefs also came to North America with early Irish immigrants and then from the Irish immigrants “fleeing the famines” in the first 50 years of the 19th century. Since then, it has only increased in popularity.
People don’t usually talk about the origins of Halloween, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.
Oftentimes by Halloween in Saskatchewan, we already have snow on the ground and it gets chilly at night. It’s hardly the celebration of the end of harvest or of All Hallows Mass anymore. It is a celebration that has evolved into something spookily fun.
For some people, pretending to be someone else is a common occurrence.
One of the people I follow on Twitter is actor Peter Facinelli.
In his description on his profile, he states: “I pretend to be other people ... In real life that’s considered a personality disorder. If you get paid to do it, it’s called acting.”
So, for one day and night, let’s all be actors. Have fun with it and stay safe.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.