In one of the many chapters of the very colorful history of Hallows’ Eve is the wearing of costumes, a part of the Celtic festival Samhain, celebrated during the end of harvest season when people take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. It was believed that during this time, fairies or Aos Sí–as well as the dead–can easily move between worlds that the living can actually see them roaming around. This prods the religious to go from house to house, reciting prayers in the form of verses or songs in exchange for food (trick-or-treating!) However, in order to avoid the ire of the roaming spirits, these prayer-folks disguise themselves so as to be “invisible” in the least, or “blend in” at most. And that’s where the masks come in.
But to me, Halloween has always been a reminder there are two [other] kinds of people in this world: those who don’t really know who they are–yet or anymore, and those who admit to who they truly are–at last.
1. Those who unmask themselves.
No matter how elaborate the costumes get, I still maintain the belief that All Hallows’ Eve is not a celebration of the day when we can wear mask. The more I think about it, the more I believe that the mask is what we wear the rest of the 364 days of the year. The mask is who we pretend to be when we have to go around and behave a certain way. The mask is what society dictates we should be. No, Halloween is not for putting on masks, it is an excuse for us to finally admit that there is another side of us be it a wild minx, an evil queen, or a sultry goddess. Halloween is the time when we let go of control and celebrate our selves in all our glory: dark intelligence, careless determination, and pure insanity.
2. Those who couldn’t see the face of the mask.
Unfortunately, some of us have worn the mask for so long, and played the role so well that we don’t know that we are wearing a mask anymore, that we don’t know which is the mask and which is our real face. Why? Because sometimes, we take off the mask and it becomes too painful, too scary to face the mirror that wearing the mask full time is a lot easier. We forget that the trick is not pretending to be someone else; the trick is knowing that it was only pretend.
This Halloween, who are you?