writer, podcaster, artist, child of God

halloween: remembering death.

It’s very strange and awkward for me to tell or text someone, “Happy Halloween!” I’d never say this as a kid, no one ever really said it around me. It wasn’t a holiday, but just the day we got lucky to be who the hell we wanted to be without anyone judging us (which is ironic because at every party you go your costume is in for the “Best Costume of the Night” competition). However, the best wasn’t getting dressed, scaring people, or dressing as a “sexy cop,” or “sexy nurse.” It was trick or treating and eating all the candies we collected from one house to another because we knew we could use the 31st of October as an excuse to binge eat until bedtime and that the next day, we’d have to slow it down on the sugar. Halloween was as simple as that.

Now that we all have iPhones and other smartphones in our hands and that we log in into multiple of social networks, we make everything a trend, including fall and Halloween. Aren’t you sick of seeing that every day is a “Happy Something Day”? Sometimes, they add the word international, and I can’t help but think, “Do people in China, in  celebrate happy pet day or pizza day, for instance?” Is it really international?

When it comes to Halloween and especially autumn, we tend to focus on useless and non-meaningful things, like pumpkin lattes at Starbucks, maroon (red) or black lipsticks, vintage beige, brown, black, white, orange clothes… the list is too long in my opinion.  Yes, it’s fun to change styles and colours like the trees do, but is it really something to celebrate?

*note: i am guilty of focusing on these things as well*

Dont’ get me wrong, I love fall and I love dressing up, but this season and this “holiday” have become part of the capitalist culture. In other words, too commercial just like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Easter. We don’t remember love, Christ, nor the Resurrection, but remember the chocolates and the flowers, the gifts under the tree, and the Easter eggs. As for Halloween, is there something to remember?

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Well, in countries like Mexico, people remember the hallows (saints) and the martyrs, Thus, the dead. You have probably heard about Los Dias de los Muertos, the day of the dead. It sounds morbid, even worse than halloween’s ghosts and zombies and skeletons, but it’s actually an important day. In countries like Egypt, this celebration lasts two days. That’s how crucial it is. Why? To remember the saints who prayed for us during their lives on Earth (and who still pray in Heaven), to remember the martyrs that fought for their beliefs, to remember the sacrifices of our ancestors, to remember our loved ones who recently passed away, to remember the ones who paved us the way for a comfortable life, to remember the memories, the laughs, the sharing of stories and the exchange of advices, etc. I’m not saying we should remember how they died, how painful it was to witness how death took them away from us, but to remember their living legacy. This is the kind of day that should be international, or at least more present in the Western society.

So if you catch yourself getting scared, or feeling some kind of movement in your house, thinking a ghost pulled the curtains in your living room, or a “woo” that sounded like wind from an open window, remember: it might your grandma who passed away last year, or your great-great-grandfather who laboured day and night to feed his family who are just passing by, saying hi, or pulling a little prank. In any case, they’re thanking you for remembering them. Make sure they’ll never ever be forgotten.

Happy Halloween, or shall I say, as they used to in ancient times, “Hallow’s Eve”!

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