I actually like the 'spectacle' of the design work that goes into them, "the outfits"
In a way there's something to the craft and some strange honor to the whole event....maybe we've lost the reasons why. There is a deeper signifigant meaning to this event.
I think if it happened on a less common basis, it might be more spiritual an act. Catholicism and it's need for constant rememberence of self-sacrifice, and some control issues thrown in, comes to mind.
Also what comes to mind is, if you take away the thrill of 'barbarism', how will you get anyone to fight your battles to conquer and control.....