The history of Halloween, like all holidays, is rooted in paganism. Its origin dates back to the Ancient Celtic festival Samhain and celebrating the end of harvest, honoring the darkness of winter, and facing the morality of not only nature – but also ourselves.
That is some heavy shit right? Especially compared to our modern relationship to Halloween where we dress up like slutty potatoes and throw eggs at people who don’t dole out enough industrial sugar. We decontextualize the meaning of these once sacred rituals for a variety of reason’s… religious influence, political dominance, and perhaps most importantly – our modern manufactured relationship to nature.
Unless you are farmer, living in a geodesic dome, and only subsisting on the bounty of your hunting and gathering skills – the shift from the life of summer to the death of winter is minimal. You may be annoyed that strawberries are more expensive, but you still can buy them after they flew 8,000 miles from New Zealand. You may complain about the darkness for about the 0.2 seconds it takes to turn on the light. You may quibble about the cold until you walk into any building and are instantaneously warm. And you may have thrown up in your mouth because I just made you say the word quibble in your head.
It is so hard for us to truly appreciate nature, because we are so removed from it. Just by living inside with all the technology we are afforded, it is next to impossible to be cognizant of the importance of the outdoors. When I am in my living room I am not wondering about the happenings of the woods behind my house. I am too busy thinking of a good status update on Facebook. Even though I live in the country, and interact with nature on a daily basis, I am still able to ignore it because of my lifestyle of living in a warm house with water and electricity.
Where once it was part of culture to honor what Mother Earth provided for us, now we not only take it for granted, but also seemingly forget about her entirely. So if anything, Halloween is a good night to get outside and get our pagan worshipping spirit on – while remembering that we, and the earth, are all going to die one day.