OPINION: What’s the big deal with Halloween?

Having lived here for more than a year now, I thought I’d be ready to embrace all the American traditions.

But there’s one American holiday that, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get into. That holiday feels like it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year – Halloween.

Halloween is so appreciated and celebrated in the states that the concept of “spooky season” has spiraled into culinary arts, gift baskets, and a genre of movies separate from the classic horror. For me, October is just another month, and Oct. 31 is just another day.

Growing up, Halloween was never a big deal in my household, or the majority of our neighbourhoods in the Caribbean. We would always know it was coming up, though, because we consume so much American media. We would watch Halloween movies that were on the Disney Channel and maybe listen to one or two spooky songs. Honestly, I could only watch one “Halloween Town” movie and try every year to watch “Twitches,” but I could never finish it. I honestly hate being scared.

The concept of trick-or-treating was never a real thing for me growing up. It was always something I only saw children do in movies and shows. In the neighbourhood that I grew up in, this was something that we never even thought of. I would remember hearing children from richer, whiter, more American or European neighbourhoods speak about this sacred tradition, but all I ever did was get upset about the amount of candy that they got every year for free. You’d think it would be the other way around.

Have I mentioned that Halloween wasn’t really celebrated because it was seen as a devil or demonic holiday?

Well, that was the main explanation I heard for a good portion of my childhood until my teenage years. It is a perfect way to explain to children who are currently being indoctrinated in Christianity that a specific holiday is born of the devil, so now no one wants to be associated with that, even when candy is on the line.

This Halloween will be my second one in the United States, and I didn’t even realize that it was coming up until people start talking about Halloween parties. Last year, the most I did was decorate my door with my roommate as we created a zombie WuShock.

This year, I’ll spend my Halloween like a regular Thursday. I’ll go to class, do some homework and then go and try to get as much candy as possible.