Each year, Halloween becomes a little more popular in the UK, and each year, right around this time, British newspapers and websites fill up with vitriolic condemnations of the holiday. Here’s some of the given reasons for this opposition:
- Halloween is too American (commercial and vulgar).
- It’s a license for children to ‘beg’ and misbehave.
- It takes away from the far superior British holiday of Bonfire night.
There’s just one problem with all these complaints, they’re self-deluded. There’s another reason they hate Halloween, and while it’s not as obvious as those listed above, it’s far more important.
They hate it because, for the British, dressing up isn’t something to be done once a year by any old nobody with a penchant for play-acting. Wearing ridiculous and elaborate clothing here is part of the everyday rituals of UK life and the right to wear a ludicrous outfit must signify something more important than just a shallow notion of ‘fun.’
Telling the British that there’s one special day of the year where everyone can dress up as anyone they like is a bit like telling Yosemite Sam that, for one day of the year, Bugs Bunny gets to shoot as many guns as he wants.
Well dagnab it, that’d cause old Sam more than a little bit of consternation.
Allow me to illustrate my point:
These are not Halloween costumes: