Halloween derives from "All Hallows' Eve", the eve (or vigil) before the western Christian feast of All Hallows (All Saints) on the 1st November. This time of year is traditionally known as Allhallowtide, a time dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all faithful departed believers. The focus of Allhallowtide revolves around the theme of using humour and ridicule to confront the power of death.
Here are just a few traditions from around the world:
|Halloween Soul cakes. Source: www.babbel.com|
- The Philippines
Here, the tradition of 'Pangangaluluwa' takes place, which is the equivalent of 'Souling'. Souling or Pangangaluluwa involves children going door to door begging for soul cakes (known as Suman in the Philippines) and in return they would sing a soul cake song. The giving of soul cakes represents an offering for the dead. Another Filipino aspect of Halloween is that during the night clothes, plants and other household objects would 'mysteriously' disappear, only to be found the next day in the garden or in the street. This is supposedly spirits showing their presence to their loved ones.
|The infamous Dracula. Source: www.nbcnews.com|
|Trick or Treating. Source:|
- The USA
And of course you can't have Halloween without a pumpkin or two (otherwise known as a Jack-o-latern). The origin of pumpkins is uncertain, however some believe that it is originally from Ireland where people carved scary faces into gourds to represent spirits or ghouls. While others believe that they were used on All Saints' Day to represent Christian souls in purgatory, or there is the more traditional view that pumpkins are used to keep spirits out of one's home.
|Carved pumpkins. Source: www.funmozar.com|