It's Halloween this week and all over the country little kids will be donning plastic masks, cheap costumes and fearful laughs in an effort to celebrate this horrible festival.
I hate Halloween. And these are my 3 reasons why:
1. I Hate What It CelebratesHalloween celebrates darkness and evil spirits. It remembers horror and death. It lauds the apocolyptic image from Edward Munch's "Scream" painting and raises witchcraft and divination as role models.
It takes it's roots from pagan festivals of the dead which were adapted by Medieval Christians to remember the day when the souls of the departed has their last chance to take revenge on the world of the living before moving onto the after life.
Why are we celebrating that?
Even worse, Halloween has become an event for children. Why on earth are we encouraging our kids to dress in the costumes of those who practice black magic?
2. I Hate What It Has BecomeWhen I was little my parents celebrated Halloween in an "Oh, look it's 31st October - let's have a little Halloween party with some neighbours" unprepared but spontaneous kind of a way. We did a bit of Apple bobbing, cut our fingers carving "Jack O Lanterns", turned the lights off to play scary hide and seek and talked about what a big deal Halloween was in the USA - where my Dad grew up.
But, we spent no money, terrorised nobody for sweets and were not lulled into visiting a shopping centre because of it's Halloween decorations.
Halloween is no longer like that. It is big business. A quick Google tells me that my local steam railway is having a Halloween special tonight (and yesterday and tomorrow), Thorpe Park is charging £45 entrance for their Halloween themed "Fright Night" evenings this week (£45!!!!!!) and your local supermarket has been selling jumbo buckets of Trick or Treat sweets since the start of October.
It has become another excuse for big business to make money out of us and when you consider the roots of Halloween (see above) it doesn't sit right with me.
3. I Really Hate Trick or TreatAbove all, I hate Trick or Treat. Trick or Treat is a charter for bullies to intimidate their frailer neighbours into giving them sweets.
Perfectly respectable parents will encourage their children to don hideous disguises before accompanying them to a neighbours door and demanding sweets with menaces.
Would they encourage them to do the same on any other day of the year?
Are they hoping that the children will take this on as a life message?
Of course they aren't!
So this year, why not stand out from the crowd and reject Halloween as the superstitious nonsense it really is. Visit a Light Party instead, put up a poster telling trick or treaters that you are sorry but you are not being part of it this year, like the one above from Satffordshire Police, and save your money for Bonfire Night which is only 5 sleeps away after all.
What do you think?