It's October. Happy Halloween! Halloween is a big, fun celebration in the United States. Have you ever stopped to wonder how other people celebrate Halloween in different countries?
Ireland/Scotland - This is where the ancient Celtic festival called Samhain originated. It's actually where the American Halloween celebration comes from. Samhain marks the end of the harvest festival and the beginning of winter, starting Oct. 31 and ending Nov. 1. Celebrants believe that during Samhain barriers between the living and the dead break down, allowing for the living to commune with those who have passed on. In Celtic times, people celebrated by leaving food on their doorsteps for the wandering dead. Today, people still carry on the tradition by lighting candles in their windows to guide the dead and/or they extra chairs are placed at tables for loved ones who have passed on. Turnips were traditionally carved to look like protective spirits - which later on turned into pumpkin carving.
The Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) - celebrated Oct. 31 - Nov. 2. This is a Mexican holiday, celebrated throughout Mexico, most notably in the central and south regions. It is customary to honor and give gifts to loved ones who have passed on by building an ofrenda, an altar which celebrates the person who died and invites them into the home. Deceased relatives are also honored by cooking their favorite foods and by bringing gifts to their graves.
Pangangaluluwa - This is an almost forgotten Halloween custom celebrated in the Philippines. People go door to door singing for alms or prayers. The singers represent the deceased, and they are given money in exchange for their songs.
Halloween is a fun and celebratory time for college students around the world. It's a welcome break from exams and class. Wherever you are, enjoy your Halloween celebrations.
It's October, and if you are a college student, you are in the middle of your fall semester and mid-terms are rapidly approaching. If you dropped a class, changed a class, or if you were not able to return a textbook you purchased but don't need, remember you can sell your textbooks back for cash to Mybookcart.com.