Trifles of Terrors…or is it Truffles?

My three favorite holidays are inextricably linked to chocolate: Easter (chocolate and chicks), Christmas (chocolate and pressies) and Halloween (chocolate and costumes). While for many adults, these holidays fade into commercialism and extra errands, I say they’re all the more valuable for us grown-ups.

A friend recently noted that few folks dress up as what they’re really afraid of, instead choosing ‘fake’ scary things like ghosts and vampires. And why not? What a relief to fear some physical or supernatural critter, instead of being anxious over your job or your blood pressure! And conversely, how delicious to dress up as something irreverent, daring, or goofy – rather than the earnest or trendy clothes we usually don. Not to mention that indulging in a night of fear or awe of the spirit world may be a necessary tonic for (what for many of us is) a blase daily routine. As the Bard put it in All’s Well that Ends Well:

They say miracles are past, and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.

So this Halloween (or Samhain, if you prefer) let’s celebrate! And not just as an excuse to consume serotonin inducers.


4 Responses to Trifles of Terrors…or is it Truffles?

  1. Nicely put! The last time I dressed up, I went as the Laundry Fairy. While I am not especially good at remembering what needs to be washed with the varying temperatures of water, I’m not afraid of doing laundry. I just wanted to wear clothes pins in my hair and make an apron with pockets for loose change and lost socks. I meant to make wings out of dryer sheets, but the perfume would have gotten to me, so I used some sort of gauzy fabric.

    Still, the meaning of Halloween has changed a lot. A friend asked me last weekend why we observe this holiday the way we do, and I’m still thinking on it. Most people probably do not care about the origins of our evolving traditions. Even if we don’t dress as something scary, it’s still fun to dress up. Americans don’t have many holidays resembling a Carnival, where things are Topsy Turvy. Many cultures do have a day where social status is tossed out the window for a day. Maybe it’s something people need. And you’re right, we also need lots of chocolate. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

  2. Thanks Megan! Glad you enjoyed it.
    I adore the laundry fairy costume. Sounds like a character out of a Terry Pratchett novel!

    I do think that we need a day now and then to play, a day that’s different enough that it shakes us out whatever rut we might be in. At least, I need those days! Meanwhile, I could use some chocolate…

    Hope you have a rockin’ Halloween!

  3. I am addicted to chocolat, which for my migraine it’s the worst idea… I love the freedom people have during this holiday, it’s almost like our Carnival here. As Harry Potter’s teacher wisely says, if we can turn our fears into something ridiculous, it’s so much fun! Escaping from our diary routine is a great excuse!

    Kisses from Nydia.

  4. Mmmm…I want to go to Carnival!

    Very good point. J.K. Rowling rocks, doesn’t she? I think she (via Lupus – or the Hogwarts nurse?) also says chocolate is medicinal…