Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I bet you never thought about the sociological aspects of Halloween. OK, neither had I until late last week. This post reflects my thoughts on the functions that the Halloween festivities serve.

Most of the functions involve selling stuff. Did you guess that much on your own? Good. So, here are the social functions of this only holiday where you can wear a tie with pumpkins on it and only look a bit odd. Halloween offers:

1. A marketing opportunity for candy makers
2. A marketing opportunity for costume makers
3. A marketing opportunity for sellers of novelty items, like little rubber spiders
4. A trigger for new product ideas, like little rubber spiders
5. Plenty of material for television news
6. A marketing gimmick for stores
7. A marketing gimmick for nightclubs - costume contests!
8. A social occasion for kids, and many people who sometimes want to act like kids
9. A party excuse for adults
10. A focal point for evangelical fears about the occult

(I'm not sure if those awful store displays serve any purpose. Maybe they do have some effect on our buying habits.)

Who knew a slightly silly little holiday could be so important!

Supposedly, demons are interested in Halloween too. I wonder what functions the holiday serves in the pits of hell (or wherever)? I need to look for a grant. Or maybe I can find a demonologist who knows!

Next time, I'll return to talking about religion, specifically some of positive and negative social impacts of religious ideas.


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