Halloween and Día de los Muertos 2017


Opinion
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Hilbert Morales
EL OBSERVADOR

Halloween will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 31, 2017; the next day, Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 is ‘All Soul’s Day’ followed by Thursday, November 2nd, 2017, ‘All Saint’s Day’.

These celebrations are rooted in humankind’s primordial development. Consider remembering your dead antecedents; their souls; and then appreciate those who live today. Today’s commercial hype has pushed aside the initial purpose which helped the living know and understand ‘who they were yesterday and are today.’ The connection to our past and present led to thanking GOD for having this good life.

Halloween announces the end of the harvest season; the near onset of cold winter weather; the darkness of night becomes longer. It is during the ‘darkness’ that many individuals recall those better days of warmth, growth, and family members who have passed on to their spiritual eternity. Some individuals claim being able to communicate with their dead relatives. The Druids in Europe claimed that capability.

Typically, neighbors assembled around a communal bonfire which was blessed; dancing, singing, BBQ food and beverages were available and shared. Then, a portion of that bonfire was taken to light their home’s hearth whose fire provided warmth for their family’s shelter.

As a youth, Halloween was an anticipated day where ‘trick or treating gigs’ were enjoyed. Households were prepared to reward their neighbor’s kids with candies and fruit.

In Mexico, families took candles, food, and beverages to their cemetery plot where their deceased had been buried. Rituals guided by prayers helped each one to remember relationships through telling of their stories and behaviors which make up their family’s history.

A deceased relative is never really dead as long as those of us who are alive today are able to recall, communicate and be appreciative of their life’s achievements. There is an appreciation of their life in terms of ‘body, mind and spirit’. Today we know that the body has a life cycle beginning with conception, birth, learning and doing, and then declining and dying. The mind can be developed through training and education to learn that humankind succeeds when a ‘sharing stewardship’ is practiced. Finally, when that individual’s spirit is forgotten by all of us, their death has been achieved.

Our antecedents faced their reality as best they could be using their common sense. Observations were documented; storing those insights and information so the next generation would benefit from that documented knowledge. Today’s technology and science need to take time to reconnect with its basic knowledge roots.

“Halloween as it is celebrated these days is but a pale representation of its rich and multicultural history. It is not, as some would call it, a celebration of the Devil or of Hell or of the Damned, but rather a blending of the celebrations marking the end of the growing season, a heralding of the coming of the winter months and folk traditions that told of the day when the veil between the living and the dead, ever a transparent,

gossamer veil at that, would lift and ghosts and ghouls would walk among the living. From those many traditions, coming to us from the Celts, the Roman rituals and even Catholic tradition, we get the stirrings of what would eventually become Halloween.” (Source: google Halloween)

Today, consider taking time to meditate on ‘body, mind, and spirit’ during these three days which collectively are called ‘Halloween’ (“Sacred evenings”). It is a Mexican tradition to apply ‘Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to both October 31st and November 1st and Día de los Santos (All Saint’s Day) to November 2nd. Take time to construct your family’s genetic tree starting with your mother and father; going back to their antecedents (grandparents and their siblings who are your cousins); include your siblings and their kids (also your cousins). You will end up with an understanding of who you are today.

Hopefully, you will gain an insight to how fortunate you are to live in a society wherein governance has its ideals documented. American’s pledge their allegiance to a piece of paper on which the U.S. Constitution is recorded. We are a nation whose people (We, the People) is culturally, ethnically diverse…all immigrants. It is that dynamic which has made America Great. The Founding Fathers were men of faith, who had escaped persecution; who were refugees expelled from their ancestral homes; and who believed in GOD as a ‘DIVINE PROVIDENCE’…who provided the resources which made this world the only home for humankind. We know of no other habitable planet in this universe (as yet) … so this Halloween, pledge to resist those who would ‘own everything’; who do not practice Good Samaritan Stewardship; and especially those whose idol is money rather than ‘living the good life’ which can be supported by this world’s existing resources if an equitable distribution system that takes care of this world’s population is devised and implemented. That achievement is worthy of our support and efforts.

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