Are You Ready to Trick-or-Treat?
Do you celebrate Halloween by donning costumes while trick-or-treating or attending parties decorated with jack-o-lanterns? Or do you make it a point to visit the dead and celebrate the season of Halloween with your loved ones – both the living and the dead – in the cemetery picnic-style?
Your Halloween traditions may vary depending on which side of the planet you were born. If you were born in Ireland, you may have first-hand accounts of Halloween traditions passed on from centuries since the holiday is said to have originated there.
This international holiday, which is celebrated on October 31, includes activities like trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving jack-o’-lanterns, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies. But then again, traditions differ depending on which country you’re from.
While Filipinos do not celebrate Halloween the way most Westerners do, we do have our own traditions which most Westerners see as odd but rather fascinating. It is not to say, though, that the very popular Halloween trick-or-treat tradition isn’t done in the country.
Villages with expatriates held on to the tradition and influenced Filipino neighbors to celebrate with them during Halloween. In fact, as early as the sixties, Americans living in the Philippines have already introduced the tradition.
In western countries, costumes for the October 31 celebration are now already being planned. Plans for costume parties are already on the works, too, as well as designs for pumpkin carvings.
In the Philippines, on the other hand, trips to provinces are already being scheduled by most Filipinos as early as now – some may have even made up their plans earlier.
While most Filipinos do not participate in the October 31 celebration – wherein kids enjoy trick-or-treating while adults attend costume parties – November 1 and 2 are the highlights of the Halloween season as it corresponds to the Catholic celebration of ‘All Saint’s Day’ and ‘All Soul’s Day’, respectively.
People come to cemeteries and honor the dead while prayers are offered to souls and candles are lighted. This is the time when people flock to cemeteries and spend time on the graves of their loved ones.
The metro is at its slowest and traffic-free state during this time when people choose to come home to their families, honor the dead and enjoy the holiday. Aside from giving respect to the departed, Halloween is the best time for families to reunite and spend time together.
So for many regions, Halloween may or may not be a season to look forward to. In the Philippines, there are some regions who try to celebrate the scariest season of the year but apparently this is not a country-wide event that many would love.
Of course goodies and tricks can make a difference but the fact remains that the culture of countries do have a bearing. And for the Philippines, it is something related to dressing up in the scariest and weirdest of things but other than that, it is partying that what Filipinos love the most.
Et al, Halloween is something that could be inserted if only people would truly grasp why it is something that many love to celebrate. It is more than just movies and partying, it is the spookiest and fun-filled events you can dream of. Why else do you see store selling eerie but crazy stuff meant for the season of witches and ghouls?
Jane Nepomuceno is an online editor from the leading newspaper of the Philippines, Manila Bulletin. You can find more articles and content written by her by visiting the Manila Bulletin online newspaper.
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