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Halloween, today, is more about the necessity of imagination than the superstitions of yesterday. It is that time of year again where many Christians who are convinced is a satanic holiday will protest while the rest of the world has found their sweet spot in costumes and candy. It is the time of year when children are allowed to dress in support of their imagination. Amid the chaos in the world today, they are awarded a day of make-believe.
Straddling the line between fall and winter is Halloween. It is a time of celebration for most and superstition for others. It is said to have originated with one of the ancient Celtic festivals. This was an event where people would wear various costumes and light bonfires in hopes of warding off roaming ghosts.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III allocated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs. The holiday became widely recognized as All Saints’ Day. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. The word “hallow” originated from the Old English word for “holy” and “e’en” is an abbreviation of “evening.” So “Halloween” represented the night before All Saints Day.
Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based holiday characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating, and costumes generated from the child’s imagination.
In multiple countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with candy-coated gatherings and a wide range of costumes. Halloween is a celebration that allows people of all ages to participate.
All that is required to partake in the festivities of this playful day is an imagination.
Somewhere between youth and adulthood, people allowed themselves to become steered away from the benefit of our imagination. We have found ourselves lodged somewhere between compliance, restraint, and normality. Being ordinary or restrained is not wrong, but it can be extremely boring.
As children, many people felt the most carefree when they allowed their imagination to run free and wild. Then something happened; life took a turn and suddenly became complicated. As a result, we found that as we matured, the decision was made by society that a playful mentality had somehow become tom foolery.
If many would be honest, they still have the desire to dress in another’s reality or according to their own imagination. Between the pressures of life, bills that need attention, status quo, and other “grown-up” situations, many simply learned to wave off the idea and bury their heads back into adulthood.
But what if life was never meant to be lived void of our imagination? Here are some advantages of playing make-believe as an adult:
I know we cannot abandon our jobs and family responsibilities to play all day. Life mandates that we work to provide for, and support, our families as well as ourselves. What we can do is take time out of each day to engage our imagination. Go ahead and give yourself permission to fly high, dream big, and reach the top. Imagination has a way of giving our hopes new meaning and our dreams new life.
By the late 1800s, Americans shifted the theory of Halloween into a holiday centered on community and fun events. It transitioned its focus from witchcraft and ghosts to neighborhood celebratory occasions.
Halloween parties for both children and adults have become a very common way to celebrate the holiday. Parties are filled with seasonal food, costumes, games, and candy.
Due to the efforts of many parents and community leaders, Halloween has lost most of its illogical and religious overtones and is now more about imagination than superstition.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Top Image Courtesy of Patrick Giblin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of DaDaAce’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Maryland GovPics’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License