What is Halloween?

This week, many Barbadians have been dressing up to celebrate Halloween and many more may celebrate over the weekend. As I passed through Bridgetown I saw young women dressed as nurses and the popular cat woman but what really is Halloween? I never understood the concept.

I had to go online and do some research to find out what it truly is. According to Wikipedia.com, Halloween also known as Hallows Evening is celebrated in many Western countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows or All Saints. Many scholars believe it was influenced by Western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain.

Others maintain it is independent of the Samhain and has Christian roots. Festivities to celebrate Halloween include trick or treat, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films.

I am a little taken back at the moment in reading exactly what Halloween is. I have no problem with costume parties, but trick or treat is another thing, especially for the children. I am not sure if I have a preconception of what Halloween is because of the many horror films that I have seen in my day. Probably in the gated and upper class communities in Barbados it may be safe but what about the other communities? I would never allow my child to go house to house asking for candy without me.

I am quite surprised that this festival has now become so popular in Barbados. I believe sometimes before we partake in any activity we should first investigate what it really is about. I will forever say we have lost our culture in Barbados and now have become more influenced by other Western ways. Ask your grandparents about Halloween and see what they tell you. I can assure you that either they have never heard about it, or just simply see no value in it.

Walking the streets of Bridgetown you can sense that Christmas is in the air because many department stores have begun to put up Christmas trees, but few have put up our National Flag. Have we all forgotten that Independence Day comes before Christmas and should be acknowledged; or is it that Christmas sells more items that Independence? If that is the mentality I am appalled.

We as a people need to stand for what is right and not take everything as it comes. Do any of us own a Barbados flag or some item that shows we are proud of where our country came from since November 30, 1966?

I implore you today to take some time out of your busy schedule and reflect on where we have come from and where we are today; and where this beautiful island of Barbados is headed. We have become so caught up in technology, fads and fashion that we have lost our history.

Have a wonderful week ahead!!!

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