I’m not sure if I can relate to what Halloween really is about. As South Africans we don’t really celebrate Halloween. So much so I had to search the web to find out what its all about and I was quite intrigued by its origin as a Pagan celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture.
It all hit me on Saturday when I was in the check-out queue of my local grocery store and the woman behind me was telling her kid that this is South Africa and that means there is no Halloween like he was used to back home. I couldn’t resist asking her where they were from and she confirmed that they were Americans now living in South Africa and her son of about eight was confused as to why Halloween was not as important here as it was back in the States.
When I was a kid growing up in Durban I don’t believe that I ever went door to door trick-or-treating. The only way I can relate to Halloween is through the television sitcoms and movies that have portrayed the Halloween festivities. I didn’t really regard Halloween as a holiday suitable for Christians but apparently its accepted by most religions of the western world. I need to ask my various friends how well accepted it is by the Jewish and Islamic faiths.
Besides the entertainment industry’s attempts to associate Halloween with horror and scary movies, I believe that in general there is a common feeling of goodwill that is introduced by bringing family and friends together to celebrate. Why don’t we celebrate Halloween? It could be a great way to meet our neighbours in the modern day. Although I see news reports of measures that parents are taking to attach tracking devices to their kids so that they don’t go missing over Halloween.
Happy Halloween to all!