What's it all about??
'Happy Halloween' say the cute kids from the street all dressed up, faces painted, masks on, and little bags ready to collect any treats from the suckers that live in the houses they visit.
'Ummm' says me, 'Do you know what Halloween is about? Do you know what you are 'celebrating?'. Silence, utter, dead, nothing, silence and partially 'duh' kinda painted little faces looking up at me with my glass of wine in my hand, sitting, relaxing out the front with some neighbours for a Sunday evening drink as we watch the sun set on another weekend.
'Oh come on.' I say laughing to the older kids. 'Surely you had time to google the meaning of the word before you went to all the trouble to dress up?' Ummmm, with the blank faces standing before me, I gathered the answer was a big fat no.
So I took it upon myself to explain what I thought Halloween was all about. You see, I didn't grow up with Halloween. I don't remember trick or treating, dressing up or any of that at all. It's only been popular with the kids here in our neighbourhood the last 5/6 years I guess. My boys don't walk the street at all, our neighbours kids also don't walk the street, however there are other kids that do, so our kids dress up and play out the front and hand out the lollies to the kids that do visit. I am not sure I want my kids receiving lollies from total strangers anyways!
I explained that we live in Australia, and in Australia we are entering the season of Summer, not Autumn. We are part of the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere it's the end of the harvest season, where all the crop is stored away, ready for a long and cold winter.
I then asked them why do they have their faces painted. Again, no idea, I then went onto explain that some cultures believe that tonight there is an 'opening' between the living and the dead at which point the dead can 'pass through' to the living and haunt. The reason for the painted faces and ghoulish costume/dress up is to frighten the bad spirits away and not be recognised.
Tomorrow is All Saints Day, where a lot of religions celebrate their Saints (mainly those that don't have their own celebrated 'day') with a mass/liturgy/service depending on the religion and what they call their form of worship/prayer/meditation/blessings. The 2nd November is known as All Souls Day, where prayers are offered for those that we love and have lost.
I did end up having a huge basket of lollies for the kids all dressed up in their garb with their little painted faces so shyly walking the streets with older siblings also dressed for the evening. I am not totally 'ghoulish', I just want the kids to perhaps ask questions and know why they are walking the streets dressed in crap cheap production line, made in China, costumes and wigs, making huge amounts of $$$$ for the huge international companies with their over production of pretty much anything and everything they can think of to milk the cash earned from mowing lawns, washing cars, paper runs, and all those other wonderful jobs kids do these days.
I have a few grumpy gripes that I will share with you and they are as follows-
We are Aussies here !
I don't want to be American-ised more than we already are.
I don't want my kids or my friends kids, or any kids, growing up with this 'thing' about Halloween and having absolutely NO IDEA what they are 'celebrating', walking the streets saying 'Happy Halloween'.
I dislike, as in STRONGLY DISLIKE, and refuse to 'buy' the whole commercialised crap thing that goes along with Halloween, Valentines Day, Christmas, Easter, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, and whatever else I may have left off the 'commercial' celebration list that seems to be totally choking our kids and families of today.
I don't mind celebrating Halloween with treats for the kids and dressing up, hey, I love a dress up as much as any kid, but I think it's also important my kids KNOW why they are doing what they do.
*phew* so help me here, am I totally screwed up in the head or what? Yep! Still totally confused, probably more so than the kids that visited our place this evening, looking for candy.
I am so over celebrating stuff just cause the commercial calendar says so!
I think the day that my hubbie gives me roses on Valentines Day or buys me jewellery or whatever on Mothers Day will be the day that he gets a head-butt!!
I want presents because he wants to give me a present. I don't want anything from anyone, 'because they have to'.
Lastly, I hope that I have not offended anyone that reads this post. I do not mean to offend, I am just trying to understand and learn why things are done as they are. I am trying to teach my children about the world they are growing up in, and share with you, what I understand of Halloween, which as you can see, really isn't very knowledgable at all. *sigh*
Can you tell me, where do you live, and do you celebrate Halloween or All Hallow's at your place? What are the celebrations you share with family and friends, do you dress up, do you pray, do you ward off or welcome the spirits that 'pass through' tonight? Do you believe in it, or do you not believe in it?
If you would like to share you thoughts, I would love to know. I would love to learn more about this long celebrated event and what it means to you.
Thanks so much for stopping by here tonight in Joycie's little blog-land of confusion.
Blessings to you and may only the good spirits pass by your place tonight.