The Holiday of Imagination

I love Halloween.

photo (10)
What you’d see if you walked in my house right now

Halloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday and has been my entire life, a fact that has often been at odds with the subculture I was raised in. I had friends who weren’t allowed to celebrate Halloween. I grew up in a community that looked at Harry Potter askance for its evil, witchcrafty ways. But to me, my love of Halloween (and Harry Potter) has never been at odds with my faith.

While it’s true that Halloween has its roots in non-Christian celebrations, so do all of the big holidays. Saturnalia turned to Christmas, Lupercalia turned to Valentine’s Day, etc. Like every holiday that started in ancient times and has survived until today, Halloween has changed from its Samhain roots. And to me, even as a child, Halloween was always the greatest of holidays because Halloween celebrated the one thing I prized above all.

Imagination.

The year I was a "pumpkin fairy" (aka, the year we had no money for costumes)
The year I was a “pumpkin fairy” (aka, the year we had no money for costumes)

Halloween is the time when we’re encouraged to tell stories and watch movies about things that most of society views as not real: ghosts, goblins, vampires, and other creatures that go bump in the night.

Halloween is the one day a year when you can literally be whatever or whoever you want to be, from a supernatural creature to a historical person to a fictional character. There are no limits. On Halloween I could be Belle, Marie Curie, Tenel Ka, or a fairy.

Halloween is the one day as a culture that we say “Today the rules of reality are suspended. Today homes are haunted, magic is real, and you are whoever you wish to be.”

So others may tut about the holiday–whether because of religious reasons or because it’s merely a “children’s holiday”–but personally I’m going to live in Night Vale, be Nova, queue up The Nightmare Before Christmas, and reward every caped crusader, princess, witch, and goblin who comes to my door with a piece of candy.

Because I believe in imagination.

How about you guys? Do  you love Halloween? What does the holiday mean to you?

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