In American terms, this blog post is a late arrival to the Halloween party.
Ghouls, spiderwebs and skeletons have been part of the scene since the 1st October. The month-long affair is characterised by houses draped in cobwebs inside and out, pretend graveyards emerging in neighbours’ gardens, and children being asked at every turn what they’re going to dress up as and when they’re going trick or treating.
While Brits slowly approach the 31st October with vague intentions to dress up and carve a pumpkin, these guys are racing full pelt towards it with holiday halloohs along the way. It’s a nationwide holiday vibe, accompanied by Halloween outfits for children and adults alike, and everything pausing while trick or treating happens in each district at particular times.
We’ve been taken by surprise, and so are slightly lacking in answers as Rufus asks ‘What’s that?’, pointing to a body hanging from the tree and the coffin resting up against the shop door. If only he would ask about the pumpkins and the scarecrows in the shop window instead!
There’s lots of fun to be had with dressing up, getting out and about as sweets are liberally handed out and all the silliness that comes with it. We loved the ‘trunk and treat’ event we went to on Saturday, and have giggled at many of the costumes we have seen.
It’s the darker side of it all that adds a sinister edge. Death, and the disturbing images that come with it, seems to have become part of the playground. The devil is just another comedic figure, and the jokes stray into spiritual darkness without much thought.
As a Christian, I love the light rather than the dark, Jesus rather than the devil. I love a good party, and like to laugh but I’m wary of this Halloween fiesta that dances in and out of places I’d rather not go. That wariness means that I’m glad we’ve had this first Halloween hit while Rufus and Billy are a little too young to know what’s going on. But it does mean we want to be ready for the next time, and know how to engage with it all – not poo-pooing the party but ensuring we love the Light, rather than the darkness.