Like many other holidays, Halloween has evolved from what it once was, barely holding onto its past roots. Once the night for everyone to dress up in their most monstrous attire, evolving gradually from its beginnings as a Celtic festival, it’s become a night of salacious Harley Quinn’s and cute yellow Minions; far from the supernatural day of rituals it once was.
Let’s be honest: what do we think of when we think of Halloween? Does the fact that Halloween is around the corner scare you? Are you afraid of how frightening everyone’s going to look? Me neither.
It’s said that people used to dress up in response to the wandering spirits of the night, either to hide from them or scare them off. Whatever the case may have been, that practical use has ended. Today, Halloween is about letting people indulge in things that society normally frowns upon: loads of chocolate and candy, dressing any way you like, and much more.
Your Halloween costumes don’t need to be monstrous. You can go for ugly, cute, or any number of other looks. There’s no reason to shy away from dressing as, say, a sexy nurse, or your favourite pop culture icon.
To be honest, I think the gradual shift of Halloween to a more “any costume goes” mindset is both better and more progressive. One day, the people of the future will look back and ask what the point of limiting yourself to “scary” costumes was, when we all knew that there wasn’t any point to it.
Halloween is only one night out of the year, and for many people, it’s developed into a chance to express their creativity and skills. Some dedicated fanatics spend hours putting on elaborate face and body makeup, or creating their own attire from scratch.
Changing our expectations of Halloween costumes might be seen as ruining tradition, spitting in the face of our forefathers — but it’s not like they never spat in the face of their forefathers.
Traditions change with the times. They’re fluid, and are based on those observing them. Their celebrators can share, change, and reject them as they see fit. Do you think that even today’s holiday traditions were the same 100 years ago? Instead of fighting change, let’s embrace it.
The changes in how we celebrate holidays persist whether you see them as progress or regression. Although your views about costume appropriateness on Halloween may differ from your neighbours’, it’s best to appreciate the holiday with an open mind and heart, putting aside your differences to enjoy this one-day event. After all, Santa takes over the very next day.