Today is Halloween, this being the Netherlands that’s not saying much. Oh sure, some shops at the mall decorate in orange and black and some of the shop’s personnel actually do put on something of a costume, but other than that it’s basically watching the Halloween episodes of well known American t.v. series. So no trick or treating or company “who’s got the sluttiest outfit contest” here. Samhain and Dia de los Muertos are next to unknown for anything other than plot devices in horror movies and I believe 90% of the world has lost most if not all religious significance to all hallows eve. At least consciously.
I love Halloween and all the related celebrations because subconsciously it manages to at least confront us with that little bit of spirituality most uf us do have, fear of dying and the unknown. And nothing pushes people towards spirituality more than fear of the hereafter. Christmas may have been a spiritual celebration once, but it’s nothing of the sort for most of us having our minds occupied by family- or company get-togethers and returnable gifts. Now Halloween and it’s sibling celebrations like dia de los muertos, with all it’s commercial success, confronts us with, ghosts, zombies and other dead and undead, forcing us to think about our mortality and therefore… what comes next. Watching skeletons, sugar skulls and gravestones fill the landscape seems to be yelling at us, you’ll die one day, better be ready!
So when you’re bobbing for apples, out trick or treating or flirting with your boss in that skintight naughty cat outfit, in the back of your head you are busy contemplating your demise and how you fair on Anubis’ scales. I’ll bet Christmass, Easter and many other holy-days are jealous as hell of that.