Ghosts, Goblins, Witches, Vampires, Frankenstein’s Monster, Wolfman and all things that go bump in the night. Candy Corn, Smarties, mini candy bars, and those nougat and peanut butter candies individually wrapped in that black and orange paper. That’s right folks, we are talking Halloween.
Ah, Halloween, probably my second favorite “holiday” of the year. Although, is Halloween really a holiday? In fact, the word “Holiday” gets it’s origin from “Holy Day”. These “Holy Day’s” were created to suspend work to make time for commemorating a specific event. Since we are required to work on Halloween, it is not considered an actual Holiday. So, what is Halloween? Well, it’s a celebration. Like a birthday, or Earth Day. However, for being a “celebration”, we spend a lot of money on Halloween. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year, 2015, Americans are going to spend approximately 6.9 Billion dollars on Halloween. That includes costumes, candy and decorations. That averages about $74.00 per person. That makes Halloween the second most grossing celebration next to Christmas, and the undisputed champion of (non-holiday) celebrations….by a lot. If you were to add up and combine all the money Americans spend on other Non-holiday celebrations such as, St. Patty’s day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and Valentines Day, they wouldn’t come close.
How much money we spend during Halloween is a fun tidbit, but what about the day Halloween? What is Halloween, and why do we love celebrating it? I’m not going to bore you with a history lesson on Halloween, but if you’re that interested, here’s a link to the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/folklife/
The question still remains, Why do we enjoy Halloween? Is it the candy? The trick or treating with friends? Having the best costume at the Halloween party? Maybe going to the Haunted House with your friends? It almost feels that we have this ornate adoration for fear during Halloween. Is it scientific? Is it a neurological reaction caused by the amygdala, a part of your brain that recognises fear and delivers a shot of adrenaline in order for you to react to the threat? We know this as our flight or fight response. The funny thing about the amygdala, is that it’s also believed to be the region of the brain that it actually can determine our attraction to partners, our children’s safety and even what food we deem worthy eating. Pretty spooky stuff, huh?
Personally, I think we enjoy Halloween, for it’s nostalgic attributes. The comradery of family and friends, along with the excitement of watching a scary movie or walking through a haunted house, gives us, gives me a special feeling every Halloween. Enough trepidation and candy to get my amygdala going for an extra shot of adrenaline, and just plain fun with the ones I love. I think that’s what Halloween is. Boo!
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Like/dislike?
What’s your favorite Non-Holiday?