Loco LL

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Hallow E'en

I love looking at the history of celebrations. I find it so fascinating how tradition gets added upon and changed over the years. The history of halloween goes back to Ireland where it was called Hallow E'en. I traveled to Ireland about 15 years ago, and was awed by the traditions, folklore, symbols and ceremonies. To think that what started before Christ in the small island of Ireland has now moved into this over commercialized "trick or treat" day... well, it is amazing. There are many symbols and ceremonies practiced today that were quite different when they started. Like the Christmas tree or the neck tie, they started off with meaning much different than what they mean today.
For me, and for millions of other Americans, Halloween means that kids get to dress up, have fun and eat lots of candy for one day of the year (well the candy lasts abotu 6 months in our house.)


When we were asked 7 years ago by some friends of ours in the suburbs if we would like to join them for trick or treating, we decided to bring this tradition into our family, just as it had been laid into our families growing up. I love my halloween memories, and I am pretty sure that my girls will always have fond memories of this yearly trek to the burbs where they get loaded down with candy and get to dress up in whatever they want to for one night.
It was the first time I got to go out with them to trick or treat. Usually I stay back with our friend to hand out candy while the men take the kids out. But I knew India would have fun going and I didn't want to slow the rest of the kids down. I thought I would do a few houses and we would be done, but she wanted to keep going. She learned how to say "Icker Eat" and loved putting both hands in the big bowls of candy to pick which one she wanted, (sometimes getting more than her share because she was so cute.) I had a blast with her. She loved all the other kids and seeing peoples dogs (she would yell, "BOY, BOY!")- and people couldn't understand why she was saying "boy." But she made for a cute pocahontas.
Alexa created her own black cat costume, complete with her black cat tattoo on her chest for everyone to see. Moriah made a darling little ballerina. And our friend's boys were jedis.
Today we celebrated the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos ("day of the dead"). If you know the tradition, you know it is not about being a scary day, but about remembering the dead. This morning at breakfast, we shared our memories of our grandparents, and Alexa and moriah shared the memories that they had of the ones they remembered. I think our culture would benefit greatly by this tradition. We are too quick to move on and forget when someone dies. I don't want my children to forget my Nana. She was an amazing person. And I wish that Alexa could have known my Mimi who loved to sew, because Alexa wants to learn to sew so badly. I hope that the stories that we share with them will stay with them and get passed on for generations to come.

4 Comments:

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The children look precious in their costumes. I know it is a fun day for them! I enjoyed seeing the little ones come to my door. Unfortunately it gets fewer and fewer every year. Mom

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger maria said...

I love the idea of celebrating Day of the Dead -- it actually goes really well with All Saints day. Something to definitely put on the calendar for next year!!

I can't believe how grown-up your girls are getting.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger maria said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7:03 PM, OpenID bottomland said...

Hi sweet Lara, thanks for your encouraging e-mail from the other day. I loved this post and I love the idea of celebrating the Day of the Dead. We use this book called All Year Round that helps us celebrate so many of the European traditions that have been discarded by much of American Christianity. For me, I love marking the passage of time with festivals. It helps me meditate on different aspects of the this human experience. Much love to you,
Caren

 

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