Spooky season is in full swing, but let’s not get carried away with the costumes and frights.
Halloween is packed with scary stories and movies and is an excuse for people to eat too much candy and party. But a whole month is too overwhelming and long to celebrate Halloween – especially given that the entire holiday is based on one big marketing scheme. The holiday’s commercialization separates it from its historical meaning of connecting with the dead and turns the holiday into a month’s worth of spending money on costumes, munching on candy and taking an Instagram-worthy photo.
Halloween does not deserve an entire spooky season.
The holiday is supposed to be a night of fun, laughs and scares – it does not warrant an entire month of celebrations. The weeks leading up to Halloween take away the anticipation and excitement on Halloween night. People go overboard with decorations and costumes during spooky season for no reason other than the fact that everyone else does it too. Spooky season is not a buildup to a particular holiday but rather anticipation for the excuse of Oct. 31 to flood Instagram with photos of people sporting Halloween-themed attire.
There is not much reason for anyone besides children to celebrate spooky season for a month, but people still buy decorations and go all out for the so-called season. People have fallen prey to the over-commercialization of Halloween. We should appreciate fall and scary movies without turning it into a monthlong social media frenzy.
Posting pictures in pumpkin patches or hanging spooky decorations are done because they are activities that everyone else does. I love pumpkin patches – my family even used to own one – but it is popular because of aesthetics and not because people actually appreciate the nature of it. Spooky season does not turn these activities into celebrations but instead reinforces that if you like spooky season, you must buy decorations and have a perfect costume photo.
Decorations should not hang all over streets, businesses, residence halls and apartment buildings for an entire month, no matter the holiday. No eggs are hidden for Easter weeks beforehand, most Thanksgiving cornucopias are not made on Nov. 1 and St. Patrick’s Day is largely forgotten until March 17. Halloween never had as strong of a tie to its traditional meaning, making it more likely to be commercialized.
I understand Halloween is a fun holiday, but we should not feel compelled to stuff it down one another’s throats. It is perfectly normal to go all out on Halloween, but the extreme branding of pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween decorations is overbearing and annoying. I do not want to ruin anyone’s fun – I am a fan of scary movies and was an ardent fan of pumpkin spice lattes – but when it is all you hear about for an entire month, it can get old quickly. Spooky season would be less overwhelming if people only celebrated during the week leading up to the big night.
If you want to celebrate Oct. 31 in fashion, remember that Halloween does not need weeks of celebration. A week, a costume and a bag of candy will do.
Allyson Bonhaus, a freshman majoring in history, is an opinions writer.