After a year of absence, I'm back from the dead! Alive. Crazier than ever and just in time for Halloween.
Wow, can't believe I've been into hiding for that long. Anyway, the blood-sucking ice-queen from the Greek world is back. If you didn't get what I said, quit thinking of it. I don't get it either! Haha (^_^)
I've kept my mouth shut for so long that talking once again almost feels like a baby uttering her first words. And I must say, I've never been this enthusiastic in blogging. Plus, studying a third language can be quite confusing especially with the differences in grammar construction and coherence. That's why I've decide to go back and relive the joy I find in writing.
So stay where you are, sit back, relax and let me do the talking. Since today is Halloween, I'll talk about Halloween.
Taking Part in the Weird Ceremony
It's nearly impossible to find someone who does not know what Halloween is. Halloween is celebrated every year across the globe. Originally, it has been a practice celebrated in the western world. Now, it has spread far beyond the wide stretch of Asia.
Second in line to the Yuletide season, it is undoubtedly an extremely popular event to the young and the young at heart. An event that makes two emotions work at the same time. Fear and joy. Ironic isn't it? While everybody's scared of the fright nights and the tales from the grave, we're also dying to get the spooks in an enjoyable manner.
We ghost hunt and when we get it, we're scared to death. Then, we forbid the chances of letting a single soul miss hearing the scare-of-a-lifetime experience we had. Then, when we finally see how they grew goosebumps with their eyes all aglow, we smile to ourselves saying, "It's a story worth telling." Thus, we can say we've contributed to this celebration. Totally crazy.
Now, despite the fact that we're spooked to death of all the ghosts and creatures of the night, we dress as one. We spend hundreds to thousands of money just to let our kids walk the streets in silly costumes. We paint them with scary make-up or put on creepy zombie masks or witch-hats on their heads, snap a picture of them sporting this kind of look with a nasty looking fork, a broom or a blood-stained ax, with one hand holding a jack-o-lantern for trick-or-treat. And the best of all, we decorate our homes with the scariest and most realistic decors and life-size skeletons. Yes, it scares us yet it we all go for it.
Tracing the History of Halloween
With all the ruckus happening on Halloween, ever wondered why it is celebrated and how it all started?
All Saint's Eve or All Hallow's Eve, popularly known as Halloween, is an event of British decent. It traces back to the time of the Celtics in Great Britain. Typically, it touches the Celtics' festival of Samhain, which originated from the world "Samuin" (pronounced sow-an or sow-in), which means "summer's end". It's the heritage of the Gaels and Celts of Old England, a rite that marks the end of harvest and the start of winter. Spirits, particularly faeries were believed to be active on that season.
Trick-or-treat, in the same manner, has been prevalent in the Old Irish tradition of Halloween. Instead of having threats or misfortunes from the dead, gifts or "treats", as we call it, we're given instead.
Even the jack-o’-lantern fable came is Irish. It is a folklore about a mischievous man named Jack who was not able to enter heaven due to his frugality, and in the same manner, was not able to enter hell for playing pranks on the devil. Carrying his lantern, the condemned Jack roams the earth until Judgement Day.
Although many have been claiming that it is a worship of a deity, up to now, no factual basis has supported this, a mere theory. As far as the Old Irish history is concerned, there was no evidence of having a "lord of death" being commemorated. Finally, this ritual was handed down by the druids to the Roman conquerors who in the latter centuries, embraced themselves as Christians.
During the early Roman era of paganism, Feralia, a holiday observed on February 21 (end of the Roman year) was celebrated in memory of the departed. During the event, people offer prayers together with their sacrifices for the souls to attain eternal peace. Originally practiced as a pagan event, Pope Boniface IV, who was awarded by Emperor Phocas with the rulership of Pantheon, Rome in 609, rededicated it under the title St. Maria ad Martyres (or St. Mary and All Martyrs). More than a decade later, Pope Gregory III changed the commemoration of the event from May 13 to November 1 as the Feast of All Saints or All Saints Day.
All Souls Day, on the other hand, was approved as a practice by Pope Benedict XIV on November 2, 1708. Originally practiced by Benedictine monks, prayers we're offered for the faithful departed and all the souls in purgatory. Furthermore, in the late 18th century, this practice was officiated in commemoration of the lives lost among many Christians on the account of the proliferation of war across the European domain.
In addition to the practice of All Souls Day, Mexico had imparted their culture of making garlands, wreathes and crosses of real and paper flowers of every color, putting them on the graves of their departed loved ones. Prior to the influence of Celtic pagan tradition, it was recorded in the Middle Ages that the souls in the purgatory roam the earth on All Souls Day as witches, goblins, toads, zombies and other evil creatures.
Coinciding with the changes in time, the shards of tradition from paganism gradually became acceptable to the society with respect to the celebration of Halloween. Still, the Church had been continuing the celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, divergent from its pagan roots.
Though, some Christians approve and disapprove of Halloween, undoubtedly, it's one fun event that appeals to many, especially to the kids.
I believe, taking part in the fun celebration of this season is not enough to brand you as an evil person. It's what we do and how we live that make us up as an individual. As adults, as, Christians, as knowledgeable citizens, we have to be reminded of the true commemoration of these events. Let's be responsible of our duties to our faith, to the society and to ourselves. That our actions will not mislead the young ones to the shadows of our vague heritage.