Halloween in Seattle
Seattle Travel Blog› entry 13 of 33 › view all entries
October 27th, 2007 – by: Adrian_Liston
The fact that Americans celebrate a heavily pagan festival at all says a lot - while many Americans are deeply religious, before that they are anti-authoritarian. If they enjoy something that their religion frowns upon they either ignore authority, or start up a new religion which allows it. American Catholics are more likely to support contraception use and the death penalty than other Catholics. Northern Baptists that dislike their church tolerating homosexuality just become Southern Baptists. This might be why much of the rest of developed world has become secular (when their ethics came into conflict with their religion, they gave up their religion), while America is still so religious (conflict? just start a new religion that suits you).
And they really do throw themselves into it. 80% of adults give out candy and 93% of children go trick-or-treating. It is the one event where America seems like a community - kids will wander the neighbourhood and be greeted warmly by strangers with compliments and gifts. People go to a huge amount of effort, far more than Australians do for any holiday, taking months to decorate their houses, carve pumpkins, and set up elaborate garden displays. A lot of people hand-make costumes, planning months in advance.
We celebrated our first Halloween with our dear friends Luke and Shyla. We went to a party in Pioneer Square hosted by Shyla's workfriends. The entire apartment was decked out for Halloween, down to dry ice in the drinks and fake spiderwebs over the lampshades. Everyone was so happy and having so much fun, we stayed out partying until 4am, and had an absolute ball, one of the best nights out I've ever had.
During Halloween Americans are generous with their time and money to friends and strangers alike. They let their hair down and really throw themselves into enjoying life, with an energetic zest that is uniquely American.
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