This week we start out with the Christian traditions. Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve, which is the day that the Christians spent honoring the dead and the old saints. It is considered a Holy Day of Obligation. One way they honored the dead was by ringing bells. Why bells are honoring, I don’t know. Maybe in the past, it was more a gesture, than the sound. That I can understand.
The traditions we see today, the dressing up and ringing of doorbells, getting treats or gifts, all come from a mixture of old traditions as you can see. It wasn’t until the Irish and Scottish immigrants began to make their way to America that the real celebrations began to take effect. Their stories of magic and otherworldly creatures livened up the events, so to speak. Thank you Irish and Scottish immigrants.
Moving on to The Chinese traditions. They hold the Festival of Hungry Ghosts (Yue Lan). Instead of dressing in costumes to hide from the evil spirits, they would give gifts to provide them comfort in hopes of making them go back where they belong.
In Japan, they celebrate the Bon Festival, which is a Buddhist Holiday to honor the deceased ancestors. They have out-door festivals to celebrate. They all visits the graves of their families in order to clean them and show them respect and honor. Then at sunset they light lanterns and put them in bodies of waters, to float away. It’s a symbolic gesture of the spirits returning to the otherworld once again.
Romanians, however, have one of my favorite celebrations. They celebrate the story of Dracula. Woo Hoo! It says they “believe” as in the present tense, that he still comes to haunt the towns from time to time. He stays in the area because he likes the environment where so many of the witch trials took place. Creepy! Yet, fantastic as well.
To be continued…. Next week I will be discussing my own favorites in the Halloween Traditions. Have great week everyone.