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Cultural Observances for Halloween


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#1 Audryna

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 02:18 AM

I thought it might be interesting to find out what some of the different cultural observances held for Halloween are.

This year, I am setting up an altar in rememberance of my father and others who have passed away. I know this is usually a custom associated with 'Dia De Los Muertos' yet it also fits into my cultural background.

I believe the tradition of carving gourds to ward of evil spirits (ie. jack-o-lanterns) when the veil is the thinnest began in ancient Europe.

An odd thing my Grandma would do at this time of year, was to visit the cemetery and place a rock at the foot of the gravestones of our family members, to this day, I have no idea why! :huh:

I'd love to hear about other such observances and customs.

Take care,

Audryna

#2 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 09:01 AM

She probably placed the rock there to keep them in their grave. Samhain (Halloween) is when the veil drops between the two worlds, and your ancestors can come visit you. Placing the rock at the foot of the grave where their feet would be would keep them down.

The custom in North America where people dress up stems from people disguising themselves from trickster spirits, or from the old practice of wearing your clothes inside out so that the Gentry can't see you. (Still not sure how that's supposed to work though....)

I always set out an extra plate at dinner for my own ancestors (which my hubby STILL isn't used to...."You mean a GHOST is coming to dinner?"....lol) It's also an excellent time for scrying and divination, but I have no talent for either.

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#3 tkite

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:25 PM

I always set out an extra plate at dinner for my own ancestors (which my hubby STILL isn't used to...."You mean a GHOST is coming to dinner?"....lol) It's also an excellent time for scrying and divination, but I have no talent for either.


Hey at least you are participating!

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#4 Yosei

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 06:40 PM

This is a good thought, actually, celebrating it in a spiritual as well as secular way...I have always enjoyed it simply because as a clothing/costume designer it gives me a chance to give free reign to my creativity, but I've been feeling a little blah this year and perhaps this would be a good time to celebrate it with something deeper. Since I have a pretty strong Shinto/other Eastern influence on my beliefs, I usually follow their custom of welcoming visits from passed loved ones in the middle of summer( which has the advantage of making it a combined celebration with my birthday), but...perhaps I'll give it a try...now the question is how?
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#5 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:54 PM

Hey at least you are participating!

:)

I just wish I did have scrying and divination skills. You can get a nasty little headache from trying to hard when you just don't got it.

It does creep my husband out, the whole extra plate thing. He also has a bit of a time comprehending that it's my religious New Year as well. <shrugs> No biggie...I married him for the tats....LOL

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#6 Vampchick21

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:56 PM

This is a good thought, actually, celebrating it in a spiritual as well as secular way...I have always enjoyed it simply because as a clothing/costume designer it gives me a chance to give free reign to my creativity, but I've been feeling a little blah this year and perhaps this would be a good time to celebrate it with something deeper. Since I have a pretty strong Shinto/other Eastern influence on my beliefs, I usually follow their custom of welcoming visits from passed loved ones in the middle of summer( which has the advantage of making it a combined celebration with my birthday), but...perhaps I'll give it a try...now the question is how?

http://www.ladyofthe...ts/sabbats.html

Scroll down (waaaaay down) and there's a bunch of links for Samhain. Should give you some inspiration.

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#7 aloha_spirit

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 12:44 AM

Catholics in the Philippines have a picnic banquet in the cemetery to be close to their ancestors. In that country LdS are the only Christians that dress up and go door to door asking for candy.

Hawaii combined the "dia de los muertos" and Halloween. It is a day to put offerings by your ancestors' graves. By night, we don costumes, have dances, spook alleys, and other amusements.

IIRC, the ancient Hawaiians celebrate the feast of Ku (the god of war) this time of year (time to dig up an ancient calendar). The celebrations included human sacrifice.

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#8 CastleBee

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 08:37 AM

I always loved the theatrical aspect of Halloween when I was a kid. I still like handing out candy to kids and seeing their costumes. There don't seem to be as many as there once were. Probaly because there are more organized parties for kids that night to try and avoid the creeps who would tamper with the treats. And then you have those who have gone off the religious deep end about it and try to shelter their kids from it :rolleyes: . I never even heard anything like that until I was past the Trick or Treat age. I'm grateful for that!

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#9 little_light

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 09:21 AM

I dont have any deep culture thing about Halloween....But I LOVE HALLOWEEN! I just like it cause its a holiday that gives me a chance to show my creepy side...Heehee..I love the kids having fun dressing up and letting them be creative... :)
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#10 soul_drifter

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 04:11 PM

Since I have no dead family yet (and hopefully none soon!!) Well..I mean dead family that I know. Anywho, I take a picture of all my pets (whom I love so much) and set them around me. I then say a lil prayer to the god/ess and maybe sing a song...if I can come up with one.
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#11 Willow

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 06:28 PM

I'll be watching a few of my favorite horror movies again for the hundredth time and then i'll be trying my hand at scrying with mirrors..I usually break out my ouija but this year I decided to try something new..last year on a suggestion from my irish uncle, my friends and I played a game called Puicini *it took all of twenty minutes and needless to say wasnt fun* <_<
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#12 Audryna

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:28 AM

There don't seem to be as many as there once were. Probaly because there are more organized parties for kids that night to try and avoid the creeps who would tamper with the treats. And then you have those who have gone off the religious deep end about it and try to shelter their kids from it :rolleyes: . I never even heard anything like that until I was past the Trick or Treat age. I'm grateful for that!

That is so sad! and so true! I never had much to worry about as a kid, Trick or Treating was the best - free candy, can't beat that! My folks would give it the once over before I chowed down, but all in all just fun, candy, costumes, friends, etc.

We tried to open up the small front room last year, with the door wide open, to have a mini-haunted house area and most kids didn't come in because of all the "bad people" stories they hear day to day. I felt awful and really sad, too
I have a neighbor now, that thinks it's evil and although I do not have children, my friends who do seem more worried about something happening to their kids and are unable to enjoy it.
I wish the kids could celebrate as I was able to. It's really too bad <_<

#13 Sammy_Da_Cat

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 07:27 AM

The Baptist church down the street from me holds a “Trunk or Treat” party. Basically they design a bunch of cars with Halloween themes and fill the trunks up with candy to hand out. My wife, my son, and I usually head down there to participate, even though we are not Baptists. I really do appreciate them for having this event because it is a safe friendly environment for kids of all ages. Halloween is my favorite holiday the house is already decorated and everyone is excited.

I will not be doing anything ghostly related other than my daily meditations which include asking that the realm of hungry ghosts, the hell realm, and all lower realm be emptied, and that all beings, seen or unseen, be relived of all suffering.

Happy Halloween!

#14 CastleBee

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 08:17 AM

I wish the kids could celebrate as I was able to.  It's really too bad <_<

I know! It was so much fun when I was a kid - especially during the last couple of years when we were still young enough to get excited about it and old enough to go out without parental supervision. My mom would let my sister and I go with friends and we were all over the neighborhood. It really gave you a sense of adventure! I don't think I'd want kids of any age out running around the way we did now. It's a shame some kinds will either miss out on this kind of fun or have to take their chances with all the creeps. Doesn't seem fair. <_<

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#15 tkite

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Posted 07 October 2004 - 02:29 PM

Yeah about 25 years ago, Halloween was a real blast for kids... We had so much fun dressing up and Trick or Treating. Sometimes we would go home, change into another costume, and go out and hit a couple more neighborhoods... If we were lucky, we could go Trick or Treating, visit a couple of 'haunted houses', and still catch "The Great Pumpkin" on television... Those were the days hehe... I'm not sure that there is any more danger than their used to be, but the media has gotten the parents so paranoid these days they don't let their kids do anything........
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