Halloween needs more weird plays and magic potions

Halloween needs more weird plays and magic potions

Modern Halloween evolved out of the Celtic festival of Samhain. Over time, it kept most of the cool bits of the holiday:

People would don costumes, go around the village and recite verses for food. Sure, the verses were probably more complex than shouting “trick or treat!” – but we live in the Twitter age and who has time for verses.

They would commune with the souls of the dead, appeasing them with whatever offerings they could spare.

And I’m sure there was a lot of fear. When 90% of your economy comes from agriculture, the start of winter must be a terrifying time.

But there’s an old Samhain practice which, although it still exists today, is far more niche than dressing up and sugar bingeing.

I’m talking, of course, about Mummers’ plays.

Because I’m tragically unEuropean, I’ll defer to Wikipedia’s explanation. It describes the plays as amateur performers “… on stage, two of whom engage in a combat, the loser being revived by a Doctor character.”

See, this sort of stuff is great. Costume parties are fun but they don’t have any plot. I like things where stuff happens, not just a bunch of people stand around and do nothing.

(Well, unless one of those people is Jerry Seinfeld. I adore that show.)

Often, the Doctor character uses a magic potion to revive the slain character. Speaking of plots, is that a little deus ex machina? Sure but it’s a magic potion – what do you expect it to do? It heals, so just go with it.

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Does it seem a little too “convenient” when a simple conversation resolves years of issues? When it comes to real issues, it can never be too convenient.

Why not just use a magic potion to fix things? If magic potions worked, I would. I prefer to stick with proven approaches.

I don’t dress up in a fancy costume.

And I don’t wait for someone to get stabbed. (Neither should you.)

All I do is focus on the problem and resolve it.

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash