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Lillian’s Lowdown: We need to appreciate Halloween more

Halloween is undervalued.

I know. We already do a lot to celebrate Halloween—trick-or-treating, costume planning, huge store displays of decorations set out three months in advance and the entire concept of a Spirit Halloween. Here at Ohio University, Halloween is one of the most anticipated days of the fall semester. I stand by my statement: Halloween is undervalued, and we are not doing enough to celebrate it. 

Halloween originated with Samhain, an ancient festival celebrated by the Celts. During Samhain, which is Oct. 31, the veil between the living and dead thins. When the Roman Empire conquered Celtic land, Samhain melded with a couple of Roman festivities. Hundreds of years later, the Roman Catholic Church established All Souls Day and utilized many of the traditions of Samhain. These two holidays would eventually create Halloween.

Halloween has truly withstood the test of time, bringing joy to countless people throughout generations. It’s still not even a bank holiday. 

If I had it my way, we’d all have the day off for Halloween. One might argue that I just want to spend the beginning portion of the day eating candy in my pajamas instead of going to school, which is true, but that’s not the point. For a holiday so old and so widely celebrated, one might think it at least deserves that sign of respect. Instead, too many of us treat it just like any other day, and once Nov. 1 hits, all the hype for Halloween has been swapped for the winter holidays. 

Besides, we all need a break before the upcoming winter season, and Halloween is the perfect time for it. It’s a respite from the usual busy day. It’s a last hurrah before the roads start icing over and it begins to get pitch black outside at 6 p.m. It’s a night of fun before you have to juggle studying for finals and figuring out what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Plus, you get to wear a fun costume. How often do you get to wear a fun costume?

A night of leisure isn’t the only thing Halloween is about, though. What is more important is the company you get to keep. No matter how you celebrate it—whether it’s by watching scary movies, going to parties or eating a lot of chocolate—Halloween is a time to come together. If you do anything this weekend, stop and appreciate the friends who came to spend time with you. Most of the fun of the holiday stems from the people around you.

So, this Halloween, I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about candy corn or trick-or-treaters or how they’re “too cool” to dress up in a silly outfit. No more rejecting the Halloween spirit. Instead, embrace it. I need to see haunted houses, elaborate costumes and lawn decor that might as well be an art installation. Most importantly, though, I need to see everyone having fun and being safe. 

Have a happy Halloween, Bobcats! 

Lillian Barry is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Lillian know by tweeting her at @lillianbarry_.

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