Explosives vs Dressing Up

burning guy

Halloween in the UK is often presented as the grey squirrel of festivals – imported from the US and busy trying (and succeeding) to kill off our more adorable native festival of Guy Fawkes Day. Because what could be more adorable and kid-friendly than burning 400 year old political dissidents in effigy and letting off fireworks?

Still, my childhood memories of this time of the year all involve a bit of Halloween vs a lot of going to big public fireworks displays (usually in the freezing cold), burning guys, eating cinder toffee and waving sparklers around in a criminally dangerous fashion. (I do apologise for all the recent nostalgia, I don’t really have a good explanation for it. Maybe it’s an Autumnal thing.)

I can only feel that it’s a shame that none of my MMOs have a proper fireworks festival. Oddly enough, the one that came closest was A Tale in the Desert which had a very elaborate crafting system for fireworks and planning creative fireworks displays.

I don’t have any issues with in game holiday events (well, aside from the pointless achievement side of things), even for holidays that we don’t really celebrate here. But increasingly I’m not that interested in doing the same holiday events every year except for unusually cool events. I suppose it’s the usual problem of old content and/ or old players…

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11 thoughts on “Explosives vs Dressing Up

  1. Don’t really like the Hallowe’en event in City of Heroes much. Trick-or-treat for salvage to get an extra costume slot is a grind, the zombie attacks interrupt you going about your business, and the city’s in permanent night for several weeks. It is nice to see those kids in their fancy dress robes having their green bonfires in the park though – oh, wait…

  2. One of the wonderful things about Guy Fawkes’ Night is its ambivalence. Are we celebrating that a plot to blow up the King and his Parliament was foiled or are we celebrating that someone had the balls to have a go?

    I don’t think it will ever die out. I don’t even think the two really compete. There is precedence for two festivals within a week working perfectly well – no one thinks “screw new year, I took a day off at Christmas”.

  3. A lot of stuff associated with Halloween comes from this side of the Atlantic, such as trick or treating and dressing up, so you shouldn’t blame the americans for those, but yeah they did ruin them anyways.

    • The dressing up thing does puzzle me a bit. I remember it being traditional for people to dress up as ghosts, zombies, witches etc to go trick or treating, but in the US it seems to be just a general fancy dress festival.

      • Halloween is a strange mix of pagan and christian traditions, so dressing up as ‘evil spirits’ could be some sort of pagentry either for the houses to placate or drive away, it was thought this day was when spirits roamed the world of the living. The christian side comes from the following day celebrated as All-souls day, and people would go from door to door singing and praying for all souls in return for sweets and coins.

        It’s funny about bonfires and fireworks because the local authorities and the gardai have been really clamping down on them, with confidential phonelines for people to snitch on others hoarding materials for bonfires. But I’m sure bonfires were often used in pagan culture but now they are seen as ‘anti-social’. :)

  4. Although Hallowe’en is indeed being imported into England from the US, it came to the US in the first place from Ireland and Scotland (it is a Celtic festival in origin), and has always been celebrated here in Ireland, even when nobody in England had ever heard of it.

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