For me, Halloween is not just a day, it is a season that lasts about a week spanning the end of October and beginning of November with a culmination on October 31st. The 31st is All Hallows Eve (Hallowe’en), and November 1st is All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day, or All Souls Day - the great Festival of the Dead celebrated in greater style by Catholic, Latin cultures than Halloween by Protestant, Anglo-Saxon North America. The same is true of many other holidays and Red Letter days: Christmas, of course; Valentine’s Day; Easter, etc. Each one is not just a day, but seasons that span many days. Considering that makes it worth my while to invest time and energy into seasonal decorations that I can put up and enjoy for a duration of time. So it irks me when Halloween decorations are stripped down immediately after Trick-or-treating ceases, or on Boxing Day, immediately after Christmas. Christmas is an exceptionally long season and is good for pressing the point. The Christmas season spans more than a month, including Thanksgiving, Kwanza, Chanukah, Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and the Epiphany (the 12th Day of Christmas).
At work this year we held our annual Halloween Party on the afternoon of the 31st. It was a lot of stress, but it came off well. At the end of the day I was shocked to see that while I was working, women in the building had already indiscriminately stripped the place of all the Halloween decorations. It was unnecessary, because Halloween was not yet over as far as I was concerned, for the reasons I described. But I suffered a terrible shock when I saw that they had torn down from the walls - literally - most of my personal decorations. I was launched into an ugly fury. I take great pride in my festive decorations and I make them, put them up myself and take them down myself with great care. But here was a pack of faceless women who went through the building like a whirlwind. Consequently I have lost about half of my personal decorations - stolen, thrown in the trash, mislaid, or just hidden somewhere in the supply room - and I was visibly upset about it. That visibility later caused trouble with the head office. In Japan it doesn’t pay to let your true feelings show, much less to actually voice your true feelings about a matter. It reminded me to be wary of the fact that although it is becoming more popular in Japan to celebrate Halloween, the Japanese really do not understand it at all and don’t know what they are doing. They have no sense of the event as a season. It is just a fun American import. Once it’s over, they launch into Christmas - which they also do not understand, for the most part.