Halloween made me think of Lao Boun Haw Khao Padap Din, which was a Lao somber festival in which the living pay respects to the dead. It was marked by a ceremony of exhuming previously buried bodies, cleaning the remains, and then cremation them on the night of the full moon.
Halloween also made me think of a Thai tradition called Nora Rong Khru Chao Ban Ritual, which Nora was a performance tradition in which dance, drama, ritual, and magic were intertwined to create a bridge between the mundane world and the supernatural. An ancestral rite known as Nora Rong Khru Chao Ban was an important part of a tradition in a certain southern villages of Thailand. This was the belief in the story of “Ching Plaid” (ghost), which they claimed that on the 10th month of every year, the door from the spirit world would open to the human world. I could imagine ghosts ‘n globins walking around, I would love to see this in person.
In the United States, on the day of Halloween, you would see children and adults dressing up as ghosts ‘n globins, but more as witches which made me think that it is the day of releasing of ghosts ‘n globins. When I was younger, Halloween was not a day that I look forward to going to school and I wore old clothes because 99 percent of the time I would come home dirty, bombed by eggs, and sometimes rotten eggs. I am not sure if it was a northern thing or just in the New York City area, school buses, buses, cars, pedestrians would get egg bombs.
All these three traditions have one thing in common and that is “ghost”, the releasing of ghost that is, and no matter where you are in the world, most of us have one thing in common and that is the fear of the unknown, and none other than ghost, mainly because we cannot see it with our naked eyes, cannot feel it with our 5 senses, but the scary image driven in us varies from region to region. I’m sure that there are many different versions of the story of Halloween out there, but I once heard from a friend that its the day that the door of the spirit world open to the human world and people would dress up as ghosts ‘n globins and act as if they were ghosts to scare the real ghosts away, and this was the belief of the Celts.
I found an interesting story about the origin of Halloween at chalicecentre.net, good reading below:
Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween.
Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer’s end.” In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter’s calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints’ Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide. November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery. Read the rest of the story here.
I want to wish everyone a fun and safe Halloween! Be careful driving at night with all the spooks and super hero’s out for trick or treat.