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Why is Halloween becoming bigger than Christmas?

Is it a pleasure in the darkness or a lack of light?

I had this article planned as it was Friday 13th and what other topic deserves a mention on such date in October? However, such things both home and abroad have switched the focus for many away from the annual worship of the Queen of darkness. Nevertheless, I’ve chosen to pursue this theme, even if just to provide some respite.

Who doesn't love a Halloween Heist?

So, what am I getting at with that headline? I mean, it’s an absurd proposition is it not? By the numbers I’m sure it’s not even a fact. Like so many of my other articles, I try to offer my analysis and prognosis of deeper individual and societal issues, and this one is no different. What I’m essentially saying is I see a triumph of evil over good, or as theology so elegantly illustrates in the battle between Satan and God.

“If you look into life and yourself properly, it is scary enough. You don’t need more of it.”

Before we go any further, I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade. I get the fun part of Halloween, even if it isn’t of any particular interest of mine, but people seem to be blissfully unaware to a growing unconscious shadow – to use Jungian terms. The shadow, the darker side of our psyche, well represented as I’ve mentioned above, but also in the likes of the Joker vs Batman. It’s Scar vs Mufusa (and later, Simba).

“Torment, torture and suffering over joy, goodness, courage and redemption.”

We see a general trend of media and entertainment to pursue the dark and disturbing over light and reinvigorating. To me, it’s completely obvious why so many are anxious and depressed. We also have the growing view that no one can be happy if there is someone miserable, which frustrates the hell out of me.

This “no one can be happy whilst there is misery” (even if only one person is miserable), I view akin to that one kid who stopped all the other kids going on a field trip. The difference now is that people will now cheer on that one kid and say that the others are bullies i.e. they are encouraging misery over happiness, and they don’t care that they’ve robbed 99 people of joy as long as the feel they’ve prevented/comforted one person’s misery.

“We’re more sadists, and less masochists. It’s a game of pass the parcel of our wounds/cruelty. We have suffered, so others must suffer.”

Look at it this way; Christmas is life-affirming, Halloween is life-deadening (literally and metaphorically). It seems cool and easy to hate Christmas and cheer on the undead nightmare due to current sentiments regarding religion and capitalism. Part of the issue is an inherent lack of faith (technically) in our modern secular society – Atheist = no God = no Christ no Mass.

“We have enough demons in our minds that haunt us – we don’t need make believe ones.”

I see too much taking pleasure in the darkness and a lack of light in our current society. It’s like what the Oracle says to Neo as a result of the growing problem that is Agent Smith, “I see the darkness spreading.” There are a lot of things at Halloween that are acceptable that just aren’t at any other time of year. Please don’t mistake, I’m not asking people to be ignorant in their delight of terror and infliction of horror on themselves and others. If anything, I would like them to be incredibly aware of it.

I know to the average person this will all probably seem a bit over the top or completely out of left field, but maybe this is another example of my above-average sensitivity to others and worldly issues. The abundance and constant reinforcement of hedonic pleasure-seeking is rife and clearly visible, and the masses don’t seem to care, even going so far as to celebrate by throwing petrol on the fire and dowsing the matches.

“In the OnlyFans/Pornhub generation, we’ve replaced joy with J.O.I.”
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Interesting take! I don't see it as an either / or situation, I think as holidays go they serve different purposes - in our suburb at least, Halloween is very much a community event with trick-or-treaters going around to decorated houses etc, while Christmas is more family focused (but still having the occasional more public celebration like Carols by Candlelight). I also don't personally see it as celebrating darkness, most kids just like dressing up as anything, whether it's for the spooky season, a themed party, or just wearing a fairy outfit to the shops (which I guess stops becoming as acceptable after a certain age). There are other holidays I'd rather see disappear first - St Patrick's Day and even 'sporting…

Martyn Foster
Martyn Foster
Oct 13, 2023
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I think you missed the sentence where I said I understand the "fun" side 😉 If you think this article is about condemning kids dressing up for trick-or-treat then my point has not be illustrated well enough. Halloween is symbolic of darkness in the same way Christmas is symbolic of light, that is the contrast I was making, the ying-yang representation it bestows. It's not an either/or, but more a complementary dichotomy, and I sure wasn't implying a removal of Halloween.

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