Student Relates His First Experience with Halloween
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 14:10
Halloween: As an international student it is one of those things in American culture that surprises me, but in a positive way. When the town is turning orange for fall and gearing up for the white snow, America celebrates horror.
Yes, Halloween is a celebration of horror, rejoicing with the demons in a fun way. It’s about bringing out those skeletons from your closet and showing your creativity on the stage. Halloween, also popularly known as All Hallows Eve is a worldwide celebration that, in most cultures, is observed to commemorate the deceased.
Although the origins of Halloween lie in the pagan roots, it has quickly escalated to be a social festival rather than having a religious association.
This is one of the reasons why Halloween is so American because it is not strictly exclusive, but is fun and open for all. Talk of Halloween and first thing you would think is pumpkins, second the horror movie nights and third is the costumes. I was surprised to see how people in this small town bore the cold winds last Friday and Saturday night when they stepped out in their funny and often weather unfriendly Halloween costumes
A playboy bunny with a SWAT police officer is horrendous combination, but come Halloween it does not look odd at all. There were all kinds of superheroes too, saving the night -- if not the people -- along with Hollywood’s favorite villains grooving to beats by Dr. Dre (pun intended) and screaming their lungs out.
What struck me about Halloween was that there are no boundaries to fun. People never stop getting creative in America. The moment you think you have seen the best creative work in a costume or a pumpkin, you could not be more wrong. There is always someone crazy enough (in good spirit) to take it one notch higher.
While the 21-plus generation was out visiting “cool” places in town, the younger crowd was not far behind. Right here in Memorial Union, Campus Attractions made it live for them. The Friday before Halloween, organized by MU Live department of Campus Attractions, saw a huge line of students huddle in the Union basement to paint a pumpkin.” A lot of creativity came out when students splashed random colors on their pumpkins and brought out the good, the bad and the ugly.
At the end of the night there were a couple decently painted pumpkins like the “South Park” pumpkins, and then there were some so abstract they would make Picasso die again in shame.
If that was not all, the next night everyone dressed up in his or her Halloween costumes and grooved to crazy beats in the Union Basement again.
Halloween is celebrated a little differently in various parts of the world. The “Feria del Alfeñique” is an example of that. This annual fest in Toluca, Mexico is celebrated to mark the Mexican holiday of Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
“This is what we do around the Dead’s Day in Toluca, Mexico: exquisite and beautiful sweets along with deep traditions to celebrate those who are not with us anymore in the hopes to see them again.” Mariana Lopez, a senior majoring in computer engineering from Mexico, wrote on Facebook about the festival.
My first experience with Halloween, pumpkins and crazy American holidays turned out very positive. I am slowly learning how to let my hair down after a hard week at work and school. When asked by a friend about what I think about Halloween I quickly replied, “It’s definitely crazy but actually too much of fun to stay away.”