Our sound editor Al Muirden is in philosophical mood again...
I was in my local supermarket earlier this week, wandering up what they call the “seasonal” aisle (which currently contains product for Christmas), when I came across the ever growing “Halloween” section. I think Halloween started in the store around mid-September and it really made me stop and think about how this “celebration” (which after all has developed over the centuries from what was actually marking the day when the link between this world and the next (i.e. life and death) was at a point where good and evil spirits could pass between the two “worlds” - good spirits were welcomed and any evil spirits warded off.
I use the term “celebration” because as I was standing in disbelief at the sheer AMOUNT of Halloween related product available (clothing, themed confectionery, all manner of dolls, witches, skulls, mummies, scary looking butlers and old hags, toffee apples and PALLETS of pumpkins!), a message came over the tannoy reminding us shoppers that the store had Halloween products in stock and proudly pronounced that they had “…everything you need for the big night…”
Now I have been to some Halloween parties in the past and most have been great fun, but it occurred to me that we have reached another date in the calendar which can be used by the retail industry as a “money maker,” and year on year, it just gets more and more ridiculous. I have nothing against anyone who chooses to buy any of these products or to have a Halloween party, but - like Christmas and Easter (in particular) -the original reasons for the “celebrations” have become lost amongst the paraphernalia available to buy, that really does (in my opinion) take away from the original purpose of why we have these “special” days.
So spare a thought for the original reasons we have a special day on October 31st. Have a look on the Internet or read up a bit on the background and get into the “spirit” of the history of it - having had a delve myself, knowing a bit more about the origins has helped me appreciate the REAL reason for marking the day.
Interestingly, we have two birthdays in the CC team this weekend and one of them is actually ON Halloween. Happily, we will be together at the Poole Literary Festival, so you never know, we may bump into you - we certainly WON’T be dressing up in Halloween costumes* or saying “trick or treat” though! Hope to see you there! – Al Muirden
*Speak for yourself! - LK