Halloween is celebrated on last day of October, the 31st. It is the eve of the Western Christian feast. Halloween is the second grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. The Halloween is three-day observance of the time in the liturgical year. Here sacrifices are given to the Sun God which is a common theme which can be seen among all the Satanists. The owl is the popular image for the Halloween because, in the medieval Europe, they were thought to be witches. It is believed that if you hear an owl’s calling, it means you are about to die. This festive is celebrated to remember the dead which includes saints, martyrs and all the departed souls throughout the year. Halloween is observed in the western countries mostly.
It is believed that many Halloween traditions have been originated from Celtic harvest festivals. Halloween is celebrated by millions of people in most countries and for most people, it is a fun time for kids. They put on costumes and going door to door to get candy or pies. Halloween is the time of witches, ghosts, and souls. Whereas some Christians see this festival as a harmless time where people can have fun and demonic nights can be avoided.So, it appears that the origins of Halloween are a mixture of old Celtic pagan rituals superstition and early Catholic traditions created through the rise of the myths.
image source: thesleuthjournal.com
Halloween mainly includes trick or treating people who attend the Halloween costume parties. The attraction for Halloween is carving pumpkins and inserting the lanterns, lightening the bonfires and playing games. Some people also try to overcome their fears and visit the haunted houses. Some play pranks and tell scary stories to other people in order to scare them as worse as they can. On the other hand, in many parts of the world, the Christian religious observe this day by attending the church services and lightening candles on the graveyards to pray for the peace of the soul. People also celebrate this day by eating of certain foods including apples, potato pancakes, and pies.
Looking at the statistics, there were so many debatable issues about the superstition associated with this time of the period of change. The myths about fairies and spirits of dead have been prevailing in the western society where it is believed that these spirits look for the bodies to inhabit. Since the living does not want to be acquired or possessed by the spirits, they dress up in the costume of dead and scary and parade around the streets making loud noises to confuse and scare the spirits away instead.
Also, on the other hand, New Year for the Celts began on November 1st. Thus, the day was regarded as the day of Samhain to be a day that was neither the year that has the past or the year to come. Around the fifth century, as the Catholics developed and moved into the area instead of a day to enjoy the festive, it took over the Samhain celebration. That means the November 1st became “All Hallows day” where the saints of the Catholic Church were respected, instead. So, the prior day became “All Hallow-eve” which consequently became “Halloween”. The custom of trick or treat developed where people went through the door to door requesting small cakes in exchange for the promises of saying and praying that the dead relatives of each house.
This, later on, changed as a religious act that belief that the dead who were in the state of in between called limbo where they stay neither in heaven or hell would be influenced by the prayers. The famous Jack –O-Lantern is named after a man named Jack who tricked the devil into climbing the tree. When the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross on the trunk which did not allow the devil to climb the tree. The devil then made a deal that Jack would not be allowed to allow in hell after his death. Consequently, Jack was neither going in hell or heaven. He was forced to wander around with only a single candle to light his way. After Irish came to the US, turnip was replaced by the pumpkin. This also gave rise to a myth that the black cat was considered to be reincarnated spirit.
Talking about Nepal, as we all know Nepal has been highly influenced by the western society Halloween has not being missed. From the past couple of years, Nepalese has been enthusiastically following all the traditions celebrated by the western calendar, name it from the January 1st – New Year to Christmas on 25th December. Even though our culture and tradition do not give us the freedom to worship Satan and spirits, people keep on celebrating Halloween as a get away from the regular schedule. Nepalese follow their biggest festival, Dashain, and Tihar on the same time period and yet they make time for celebrating Halloween.
Even though they do not involve in dressing up in costumes and go door to door to ask for trick or treat, they attend a private party where they draw upon faces of skulls and monsters and enjoy. It is a debatable topic for the Nepalese to be celebrating this festive because it does not make any reasonable issue for us. Had we been believing in Satan and dead spirits, it would have made sense. Since we don’t, there are people who are critiquing it and generalizing people by the adverse effect of Western society. But there are other people who respect all the traditions and culture and happily accepts the fact that Nepal is been globally influenced and is diversifying itself around the world. If western people can come here and be a part of us in festivals like Dashain and Tihar celebrating it with the same manner as we do, then it is our honor to be a part of their festival too and that is how we can be in a global society.
I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.