I don’t get it. I simply don’t understand the fuss and decorations and general hoopla which surround Halloween. I get that St. Valentine’s Day is about love, St. Patrick’s Day is about Irishness (and, sadly, drunkenness), July 4th about our nation, Thanksgiving about gratitude and family… Christmas, well, it’s Christmas. But what the heck is Halloween all about?
Having no special 4th of July to celebrate, as a child in Ireland our big firework night of the year was Halloween. All the children gathered in the street where we lived and our fathers set off the fireworks while the rest of us watched spellbound. I certainly had no awareness that we were marking the Eve of All Saints Day. It was just an annual celebration and there were no ghoulish aspects like plastic skeletons or fake cobwebs and the like. [It may well have changed since I left in 1974…]
The rather grand house opposite where I live now is decorated with witches, black cats, spiders, black trees with orange lights and a whole lot more. What’s going on? What’s being celebrated?
Are we trying to take on board some aspects of the Mexican Día de los Muertos?
Help me here, please.