In the past, my feelings about “Halloween” were nothing more than fancy clothes and “trick or treat”. In the first year of studying in the United States, the Halloween Party at the school was crowded with students dressed up as all kinds of monsters and ghosts. They wriggled in the blurred lights and deafening music. The air was filled with a sweet smell of tobacco, others told This is the smell of hemp. At that time, a group of Chinese students were standing in a corner chatting, one of them asked the other: “Why don’t you pretend?” The person asked calmly replied: “Can’t you see it? My appearance today is “Just from the laboratory” People who get off work.” At that time, I thought that Halloween was for people who like to drink, smoke marijuana, and dress up as “ghosts”. At that time, I was studying at Stanford University, the famous “nerd” school. The task was heavy and the pressure was high. I saw Halloween as a way for everyone to vent the pressure.
Two things about Halloween have changed my view of Halloween. One year an American journalist friend invited me to his town to participate in the Halloween parade. Every Halloween night, the main street there will be closed and become a place for people to display Halloween costumes. The first time I was immersed in it, I discovered how grand and important Halloween is for Americans. People’s costumes are by no means clichés like Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, or Pokemon. Many shapes bring together sound, light, and electricity. It pays tribute to various cultures and classics, such as high-tech, and its novel ideas and wonderful creativity are even more amazing. The most eye-catching thing is often the unavailable costumes, which require months of sewing, tailoring, painting, etc., and even practice matching dance moves or performances. Husbands and wives, couples, a family of three, brothers and sisters…all need to find matching objects in famous movies, animations, books, and all kinds of things around them. I put on my only set of Hanfu and squeezed into a group of Teletubbies to take a photo. There are few Chinese in that small town, and the photos taken by my friends were published in the newspaper. Only then did I realize that cultural fusion takes place in the Halloween carnival. The happiness of Halloween lies in the sense of ritual, in the display of creativity and talent, and it is also a declaration of self-consciousness.
The second thing is Stanford’s annual Halloween concert. The concert requires all performers and audiences to dress up and attend the concert. The music played is also based on themes of “Star Wars”. It is not a taste to see a group of tauren-faced characters holding musical instruments meticulously playing symphony. The last link is the Best Costume Award. The contestants ran onto the stage by themselves, and the host held a test instrument to record the cheers and cheers of the audience. The highest decibel would win the prize. Before the cheering begins, the contestants can canvass for votes. Many people choose to pose as their signature posture or shout a classic line or two, which often arouses the audience’s roar of laughter. And among the ten people, nine of them are unknown to me-who are they dressing up? What are you laughing at? Every Halloween, I feel huge cultural differences and barriers.
Halloween and community culture
In my opinion, just because of Halloween, the declining “community culture” in the United States can be rejuvenated from time to time.
In the United States, neighbors can stay away from each other forever, and people in a community seldom help each other and enhance their feelings, but Halloween still retains such a strong human touch.
In the United States, children who ask for candy are all around their homes, so this is an important way for neighbors to increase their relationship. Those who hand out candies, as long as they open the courtyard and house doors on the evening of the event, it means to welcome nearby children to come and ask for candies. Therefore, before and after Halloween, whether families with children or not, they will be immersed in anticipation and excitement, not only rushing to decorate their doorsteps, but also informing each other about where the “sugar army” is marching at any time. I once sent out sweets. A total of five or six groups of children came in one night. When they heard their energetic knocking on the door and their clear voice shouting “trick-or-treat”, it was easy to be infected by this happiness. When the children come to beg for sweets, the parents will follow far behind. After the master opens the door, they will nod and smile with the parents in the distance. After a group of laughing and noisy children, they suddenly feel that Halloween actually has a healing effect on adults and children. .
Special Halloween in the epidemic
This year’s Halloween is very special. Halloween’s reserved activities—distributing candies, cross-dressing parades, and holding parties are all regarded as “high-risk activities” in the epidemic, but Americans’ love for Halloween cannot make themselves miss this holiday. . The city where I live has long announced that children are not encouraged to go out to beg for sweets, and the traditional Halloween costume contest will be held online instead. The children got the “Halloween Gift Pack”-it includes tools for carving and decorating pumpkins, plasticine that can be squeezed into monsters, and lollipops in the shape of various little ghosts, so that children can have a quiet and fun stay at home Halloween.
During the epidemic, the haunted houses that you can drive through and the car theaters that show horror movies are popular. Both of these activities allow people to maintain a sufficient social and safe distance, as long as you put a sound player in the car, you can feel the atmosphere of terror immersively. Haunted houses in the United States are often farms. After the autumn harvest, when entering the slack farm, the large barns and abandoned scarecrows can be used to decorate haunted houses. It is a fresh adjustment for people who live in the city for a long time, and it is also a way to support the local farm economy. The haunted houses need a lot of open space, and this year I am afraid that more people will be brought from the city to the countryside. Car movies were originally a traditional entertainment project in American families. They were especially popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, with the popularization of digital products, every family has many large and small screens, and children do not need to talk to their parents. Watching a movie together. But this kind of beautiful experience like camping in such a small space as a family crowded in a car under the outdoor starry sky may add a touch of nostalgia to this year’s Halloween.
Halloween takes place in autumn, and the warm, rich and cold fall of autumn reached harmony and unity on Halloween. Every Halloween, every household will make every effort to dress up the courtyard, and put pumpkins, corn, autumn leaves, etc. on the warm route, which fully highlights the joy of the autumn harvest. All those who like the horror atmosphere hang spider webs, and hang a few black witches, bandaged mummies, hideous little ghosts and white skeletons from the trees. Halloween always makes me feel that the foreign culture is colorful, and we have to experience it with respect and learning.