As I get older, I find myself adoring Halloween more and more. Of course, it has been some years since I feigned to be a country music singer, a princess, and a zombie soccer player, but it still does not mean the spirit of the holiday lessens for me. The following are 5 reasons Halloween is still one of my favorite holidays of the year.
I am now 24-years-old, and I still get giddy over buying Halloween candy. The aisles of pumpkin-flavored this and that and the other things coupled with the fun designs of candy wrappers puts me in mind of my youth when my nieces and I would plod along small country roads waiting for the next stop of candy. And somehow candy tastes better when it is eaten for a special holiday. Additionally, one cannot forget the fact it then all goes on sale the next day!
2. Pumpkins and Jack-O’-Lanterns
What you see above is a rather sad attempt at a jack-o’-lantern from my freshman year of college in 2008. My friend Justin and I attended a dorm-wide Halloween party and decided that we wanted to create a history-themed carved pumpkin (as good history majors are apt to do). After we killed, gutted, and carved the pumpkin (in good Jack the Ripper-like fashion…), Justin decided we should name the pumpkin Madame Guillotine since his favorite period in history was the French Revolution.
So why do we carve pumpkins as part of the Halloween tradition? According to LiveScience, jack-o’-lanterns derived from the Celtic tradition of placing carved turnips outside of homes to guide lost souls to them. Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve as it used to be called, was the night when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead were thin. Thus, spirits were able to return to mingle with their living counterparts. Pumpkins came to replace turnips in North America during the nineteenth century because turnips were more scarce.
3. Black Cats
Black cats came to be associated with Halloween through the legends surrounding their encounters with witches. For centuries, people believed in witches, those sinister, ill-meaning crones who flew brooms and cast malicious magic on their neighbors. Witches were often purported to keep company with different creatures such as cats, ravens, and the like as their aides in creating magical tomfoolery. Termed familiars, these creatures could even be the Devil himself in disguise.
Of course, if Lily was capable of any magical tomfoolery, surely I would have noticed that by now!
Simply put, I love seeing the types of costumes people come up with. Case in point:
Flashback to Halloween 2010. I was studying abroad at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. I was part of the Lancaster University History Society, and we went for a pub crawl/ghost walk as a social gathering. So, who would happen to walk into one of the pubs we were at? Yep, you guessed it! Four lads dressed as characters from Ghost Busters (yours truly is the gal behind the ghost to the left in the second picture).
Yes, I had to get pictures taken with them! The guys were very nice in letting this foreigner take some pictures. But really, who walks into a pub and thinks they will see THAT?!
That’s nothing to say about what other types of costumes there are out there…what were some of the crazy ones you saw this year?
5. Hocus Pocus
This is the standard Halloween movie of my generation’s existence. It beats all of the scary ones by far. Where else would we have:
a. Developed a crush on either Thackery Binx (played in person by the same person who plays McGee in NCIS) or Max.
b. Wanted to cuddle the kitty Binx?
c. Actually applauded Sarah Jessica Parker’s acting abilities?
d. Danced to “I’ve Put a Spell on You” sung by the wonderful Bette Midler?
e. Laughed as the bullies received their well-deserved revenge in the Sanderson house cages?
f. Cried when Binx was reunited with his sister Emily?
g. Squealed when we saw Billy Butcherson for the first time?
h. Cringed at the mention of a virgin lighting the black candle?
i. Relived these same moments year after year?
Yes, Hocus Pocus is without doubt the quintessential Halloween movie.
What are your favorite parts of Halloween?