I’ve grappled for years in trying to figure out the fascination with Halloween. I’ve long been relatively immune to its charms, though in recent years I have had lots of fun dressing my kids up. Last year I revealed a new understanding of how Halloween relates to untapped creativity for people.
Halloween also allows for self-expression better than almost every other day. On a particular day, you can watch students try to hint at who they are through their choice of clothes.
But it’s just a hint. There’s more there, hidden.
And on Halloween, they get to open up and reveal their true selves by choosing who to impersonate. Either ironically or earnestly, they can tell their family, friends, and the world who they are.
It’s a golden opportunity to try on something new and see how it fits. Or to shed an old skin, for a day, and say, “this is who I am now.”
As someone who has always been almost completely comfortable being myself, the attraction of being someone else long seemed a little puzzling. But I celebrate the opportunity for self-expression inherent in the holiday, particularly for young people trying to discover and express themselves.