I find Halloween to be a weird time of the calendar as I don’t ever remember celebrating the day, if that’s what you do, when I was growing up. I have had discussions with other Brits of my age who readily admit to celebrating Halloween, but they were somewhat reticent in coming forward to just exactly how they celebrated. One thing that was universal was that none of us ever went trick or treating, an obvious import from the US into Britain which is something else I find strange about this time of year. Also what is very strange out here is the fact that Christmas decorations begin to appear in September but then all of those decorations are removed from shops and malls to be replaced be Halloween garb, namely spun cotton wool made into webs with strategically placed plastic spiders inside. Don’t ask me!
I have never quiet understood most of the costumes that people wear either, I mean what has Harry Potter, Superman, Spiderman and other various superheroes along with fluffy animals got to do with Halloween? No I don’t know. Find it sad that kids are paraded around in various costumes, most of which have nothing to do with Halloween as I far as I can tell, carrying plastic half pumpkins in which to collect their sweeties readily made available by the majority of bars and shops. Some even dress their dogs, which is probably one reason dogs bite people, in more idiotic costumes than those worn by the small and big humans. Anyway is does add a touch of humour to the whole event even if I believe the meaning has long been lost.
That said ‘All Saints Day’ out here is a very weird tradition. Filipinos will travel back to their respective provinces and there whole families will set off to the cemetery to have a party, celebration on the graves of departed family members. I know it will sound odd but the uptake in following this tradition is massive. Estimates in Manila put the crowds at various cemetery’s somewhere around the two million mark and if that figure is difficult to believe, the authorities then realised the fact that over 140 trucks were involved in the cleanup operation!
On the one hand I do find it somewhat creepy to dash off to a party on dead relative’s grave but, on the other hand I also find that it’s a nice way of remembering departed family members, even if it at first sight doesn’t sound very respectful. Still each to their own and the one upside was very little traffic round and about. Now I guess that all of the spun cotton wool cobwebs and their respective plastic spiders will be quickly put away for another year only to be replaced by computerised Santa Claus’ singing Christmas pop songs for another two months!
It’s more fun in the Philippines! Till next time.