Photo from Time and Date
Last week, I shared with you an article about a not-too-popular holiday celebrated every 3rd Saturday in October, the Sweetest Day, a day that was originally dedicated to orphans and the sick, but has also gradually become a day to show appreciation for loved ones and individuals that help us in various ways.
This week, I am writing about another “sweet” day this season for the young and those young at heart, Halloween. It is a little over a week away, but every store and front porch is evidence to the excitement many adults and children have for this Fall tradition, typically celebrated through fancy costumes, Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. Undeniably and literally a “sweet, sweet” day for children, albeit not limited to, Halloween is the one day each year that allows children to go door-to-door in the neighborhood and be showered with candy more than they can consume and other treats.
Growing up in the Philippines circa 1980s, I recall Halloween to be a solemn time to remember relatives that have passed, and to visit their graveyards in the cemetery with other living relatives, inevitably making the event a mini-reunion and a celebratory gathering for families from far away. And if we were not able to physically visit, we lit up candles to pray for their souls and reminisce their lives when they were still with us. I also remember Halloween to be a rather superstitious time when, as my grandma would say, spirits (good and bad) roam around so I should be more prayerful. Today, my religious faith reminds me of the same practices, and although I am thousands of miles away from deceased family members, I am reminded to continue the tradition in my own family, in addition to going trick-or-treating with my children.
Different families observe Halloween in various ways, but what matters is how such celebration keeps them closer to and appreciate one another. What other ways do you celebrate Halloween? And if you do not celebrate it, why not say a short prayer for a family or friend that has passed? I am almost certain they’ll look down upon you and whisper, “How ‘sweet’ it is to be remembered.”
About the Author: Charm Moreto Damon is a mother, a TESOL professional and a freelance editor. She graduated from the University of the Philippines, and pursued graduate studies at the Ohio State University, where she also taught academic writing and research to international students. She is currently a stay-at-home-mom, and keeps herself busy with family, friends, and editorial work. She may be contacted at email@example.com.