Should we celebrate Halloween?
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Review of "Should we celebrate Halloween?"
31st October 2006So far this morning as we were innocently driving along in our van the gear stick came off in my partners hand!! We then had to perilously manouevre the van across busy traffic by trying to jam the base of the gear into first. The trains were late and now Im in work I've had an email request from someone called Ezekiel and my colleague says she can smell garlic! Call me superstitious but it's Halloween today and Im starting to think maybe I've been bewitched! Anyway, I digress before I've even started, on the question of: To Halloween or Not To Halloween - I would like to say that I'm in favour of it, particularly for adults' amusement!!
How and why we should enjoy Halloween:An excuse to have a Party:
We've just held our Halloween party for the fifth year running and it gets better every year. It began with us renting our first flat and thinking we needed to have some sort of moving in party, it was around October time so what better than to combine it with a Halloween party. You wouldn't believe the excitement this caused amongst our friends. None of us had ever been to a Halloween party but had all quite hankered after dressing up as something spooky. I think this is an innate desire amongst all my friends who are in their 20s or 30s who had been brought up with the rumour of Halloween parties around us but never having been to one. My mum always told me in no uncertain terms it was a silly American tradition and therefore not worthy of us celebrating it (plus I think she was worried she might have to make a costume), but we never went trick or treating and didn't really see anyone else do so. So this to us was something different and exciting. What other occasion gives both men and women a reason to dress up and not as something soppy but something really gruesome or risque? So for about a month before the party we all eagerly researched our topics and discussed in detail who we would arrive as and where we would get our costumes from. The real trial came when trying to create a scary atmosphere in the flat rather than a childish one. It was great fun to go shopping for all the items needed, ranging from horrible cutlery, smoke machines, to gadgets and fake blood. You may of course point out that we are the retailers' delight as we eagerly lapped up all on offer, but after 5 years we have built up a great collection of items and now only buy what we think is really great. Woolworths, Asdas and Tesccys are all great for cheap bits and pieces. The party was really good fun and even more so because us adults were allowed to step out of our sensible boxes and do something different, creative and extremely funny - so what if it's all a bit of silliness, many rituals are. We had a bon fire and made interesting food and I actually made cakes for the first time in years and it brought everyone together in a way that doesn't happen often. All parties do this you may argue but this had extra wow factor, so much so that we all agreed to do it again and here we are 5 years later and I have been dressed as an Angel of Death, A Witch, a Devil Woman, A Ghost Girl and this year my triumph: a Ghostbuster!!
Do you love all those old songs that are associated with Halloween in some way? I do. Well this is about the only time you'll be excused for playing them, it's incredibly nostalgic and really gets people dancing and stomping. We have built up a great collection of old hits over time such as the theme from Ghostbusters, the Monster Stomp, Rocky Horror Picture Show tracks, Little Shop of Horrors sound track, Thriller, Adams Family, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (I bet your humming along by now), plus creepy sound effects. There are loads of Halloween compilations available, just type in Halloween in Amazon and you'll come up with some good ones such as "Halloween Hits" - Various Artists which interestingly has a sales rank of 11,639,- I didn't buy them all! It'll only set you back £9.99 or even better you can pick it up for about £3.50 used. Something fun for your guests is to ask them to bring along an original piece of horror music no one else has thought of.
Loads of scope here for interesting versions of food, although I wouldn't recommend using the contents of your pumpkin for anything as the ones on sale at this time of year aren't made for eating!! You could however make some excellent blood punches, eye ball soups and green iced cakes for just a few easy gory examples. My favourites are all the possible spooky cocktails you could be making and enjoying and even using your pumpkin to hold them in. Make yourself look daft and all your ghoulish make up run by apple bobbing. Apples were associated with the goddess of love or fertility and one possible origin of the game is that the first to capture an apple with their teeth would be the first to marry. We've also invested in a Chiminea (clay chimney type outdoor oven) to roast lovely jacket potatoes in.
I'm reminded of my Mum's little bit of wisdom and wanted to find out the origins of Halloween, so I Googled it. This is something disturbing in itself, one of the first web sites appearing being: http://www.exposingsatanism.org/halloween.htm which tells me that it all "began over 2000 yrs ago with people known as the Celtics"!!
You can find many scary bargains so it doesn't have to be an expensive party ,perhaps look on ebay or a charity shop for ideas and shop out of season as it's cheaper. It's muchmore rewarding to try and make something, be a bit different and take your time over it rather than going out and buying it. For instance my Ghostbuster proton pack was lovingly sculpted and crafted by my hubbie (he reached a kind of obsession level with it actually). We used anything lying around that looked like it could be mechanical, old bits of wiring, plastic boxes and bought some black spray to finish it off. I do confess I bought a toy gun off ebay to complete the ensemble, but it was poo-pooed by Lee for not being authentic enough, but I liked the way it screams out "Halt I will shoot if you don't put down your gun"!!
Lee made himself into Accident Man, this year having bought a bloody arm sling from Asdas for about £2.50 and some make up effects left from previous years and it was very gruesome looking indeed.
Compile your own music cds with sound effects or make your own spooky video (yes we have done this too - maybe I'll put it up on the video section). You can even use something like a Play Station and Eye Toy game to create scary visual effects. Or perhaps research the fesitval's pagan roots and maybe find something to celebrate in that.
Well if it turns a drab part of the year into something fun why not? We don't do an awful lot these days that's just a bit of silliness and if it's no harm to anyone else I'm all for it. I really like it when the youngsters come round trick or treating and like to see how it's been made fun for them. I certainty wouldn't like to see it disappear for the sake of political / religious correctness. It has to be mentioned though that some people do use it as a reason to make trouble and there are some people who have experienced abuse or bad behaviour from people calling themselves treat or treaters. You can now obtain window posters from local police stations stating that you do not want unwelcome trick or treat callers and some counties have their own "Say No to Trick or Treat" campaigns. If you want to know more about this try looking at your borough council web site or contacting your local police station. Elderly people or those on their own in particular can be frightened by the whole night. My own family whose house is situated inside a park experience a lot of trouble every year from older teenagers so therefore don't answer the door anymore. I wouldn't ever give money to kids and would hate to be threatened in any way but for now not having experienced this side of it I will carry on tonight with my bowl of sweets (if I havent eaten them all by then) and hope the strange tradition continues.
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Listed on Ciao since: 23/10/2006