It is that time of the year again when we are exceptionally excited to scare ourselves. (Duh!) It is that season when we spend time and money to make ourselves horrifying. (Do we really have to spend? Try looking at the mirror now and be frightened at no cost.) So doing, it is that date in the calendar too that we get everything as completely incorrect, culturally “miscolonized” and out of date.
It is incorrect when we profess faith in the goodness and beauty of God rather than in the vileness and ugliness of Satan. Lest we forget, the true meaning of Halloween is being holy. It is short for “All Hallow Even” which means “All Saints’ Eve”. Also, think of our common prayer – Our Father … hallowed be your name.” Without a doubt, sanctification belongs to God alone while being horrible belongs to the evil one and to you-know-who who will wear a scary mask these days soon.
Quite traditionally, Halloween is observed with dressing up in disguise, trick-or-treating and displaying jack-o-lanterns. Not familiar with these terms? Trick or treat and jack-o-lanterns? No worries, they do not belong to our culture and Filipino psyche anyway. They are from Western culture, of pagan origin and they are observed in many non-Christians around the globe. Why not tago-taguan or tagtagan over trick or treat? And lampara or petromax over jack-o-lanterns? These jack-o-lanterns are meant to expose the hollowness (emptiness) inside a pumpkin. Embracing this kind of lantern without knowing its meaning and culture would indeed make us what it tries to uncover – our cultural emptiness.
The incorrect Halloween has indeed gain popularity but in times long past and in far distant lands. How this kind of practice arrived in our land and how we are making it even “better” should now put us to self-reproach. Henceforth, to correct this scary event is a deemed necessary. The scary practices must now be considered outdated, even unnecessary. We strike the balance of being truly holy at the same time wholesomely funny; the balance of being correct and simultaneously exciting.
Gladly now, some communities and cultures had already undressed themselves from horrifying costumes – from bloodsucker vampires they become Disney princess, from hideous zombies they now wear superheroes attire, from freakish witches they now turn cowboys and cowgirls. Quite a relief.
Some are more correct. Instead of anything, they do wear costumes of saints. Children become their look-alike favorite saints. Lo and behold, they call it as “Holyween” – Festival of Saints. Ergo, instead of scaring the value of caring is rather practiced. Heart-pounding screaming is replaced by calmness and the gentleness of smile seen in every child. Nothing could be more correct.
Finally, why are we really obsessed with horror stories and other accounts that portray the devil? Why do people find vampires as sensually appealing and angels damn boring? And saints monotonic? And why do we still have to scare and be scared this time of the year? We already have a lot of scares these days. And the scariest of them all is the most real – the fake news and fake people. Not scared yet?
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