The Big Debate: Halloween, Trick or Treat?

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Treat

While many anti-Halloween arguments are credible, I can’t help but introduce the notion that nowadays, and to most people, Halloween is just a bit of fun. I have spent the day passing child after child sporting their own costume bursting to the brim with excitement at the opportunity to dress up and have their face painted. Isn’t that what Halloween is all about? It gives children the opportunity to take a day out of their normal lives, be creative, dress up, have fun and ultimately BE a child. As Halloween as become more commercialised, its scary factor is dramatically reducing. It no longer requires the scariest costume, but simply a costume. I am however convinced that most people actually enjoy the element of fear that Halloween brings; the urban legends and the scary stories. How many of you are going to be curled on the sofa watching a horror movie tonight to ‘get in the spirit of things’? I certainly am. Like Christmas, Halloween is something lots of people count down the days for as soon as October hits. Not to mention the prospect of pumpkin carving! When I was younger, Halloween was a time when the children from all over my neighbourhood came together and had a night of fun trick or treating around the village. For us University students Halloween serves as one of the rare opportunities where we can dress up, eat our body weight in sweets make the most of the inner-child that we all have inside. Ultimately it is a chance for people to come together, have a party and make long-lasting memories. It is not something that needs to be taken seriously because of its religious history. Those who aren’t welcome to the idea of Halloween have no obligation to partake in any Halloween related activities, but let those that do enjoy the occasion!

 

Trick

Halloween is all about dressing up as gory and scary as possible, purposefully disturbing and frightening many young children and older members of the population, who often have a dread for the occasion. “Anti- Halloween” ideas are often against religious beliefs, general concerns within communities, as well as the idea that it is slightly unethical in terms of begging for money or sweets through “trick or treat”. Halloween is, however, on the eve of All Saint's Day, honouring all of the Saints in Christian history, hence why October 31st was seen as an 'appropriate' date to set an anti-Christian and anti-Catholic based event, aiming to gain huge attention. In terms of religion, Halloween tends to go against the beliefs and ideas of many Christians and Catholics. There are always discussions as to whether Halloween is satanic or merely secular. Should children really be encouraged to be part of such an event?  Children love to dress up, but children from religious families are likely to feel left out, especially if their parents don't allow them to adhere to society by dressing up as ghosts or vampires. Many people believe that Halloween is simply a commercial event designed to encourage excessive sales of costumes, sweets, pumpkins and other decorations. “Trick or Treating” can also lead to anti- social behaviour, particularly when youths go out in large groups, not always out to cause trouble, but damage can be caused if house-owners fail to answer their door, or even refuse to give out treats. Safety is a huge concern over Halloween, parents can feel obliged to allow their children out onto the streets with their friends to go “trick or treating”, youngsters won't always stick to the paths and areas that you advise them to, particularly when they're part of a larger group of friends. Simple ideas such as 'stranger danger', which I'm sure we all remember from our primary school days, are a vital part of trying to keep children safe, but unfortunately, you can't always tell who people are when they're dressed up anyway! Ultimately, Halloween is dangerous for the youngsters who take part in “trick or treating” as they can get rowdy, are likely to scare people in the neighbourhood, and will almost certainly come into contact with strangers. The anti- religious element is also important as Halloween disrespects the views of people from various faiths, and yet they're still very much exposed to the commercial event.

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