What a happy day to have Halloween on a Friday. It's always so rare to have a break the next day after a night full of candy, costumes and horror filled fun.
Born on an Island, the culture of the dead was never really separated from the living. Ancestor worships and the spirits month (we get a whole month) were usually celebrated around Summer time and not in late Autumn. There's a LOT food involved, not just candy. Celebrated by everyone in the family and not just kids, we actually go out to the gravesights to clean the areas, bring food, offerings and relax. And during this time, you're supposed to NOT mention anything related to the deceased and spirit world after dark.
Elders told us that during this time, the veil between the living and the dead is incredibly thin. It is a time that allows those that have gone to return easily and visit, asks us for things to burn to them, and such. If we were to speak of anything related, some of the 'unrested' and often unrelated spirits may attach themselves to us (children) and cause ill. The Buddhist clergy would perform a ceremony specifically for the unrested spirits, the wandering, lost, or poor spirits and 'feed' them and we would attend.
So, moving to the U.S., it has extremely different. For one, all the graves are back in the old country. Two, there are very few Buddhist temples around to even have offerrings sent back. Three, most importantly, it's not around the same time.
Ah, the joys of being polythestic. Chinese Buddhism does encourage my celebration of all holidays and as much as love this freedom, it sometime means I'm celebrating ALL tHe TiMe. O_o
Um...can't afford that, sorry. Not like I could have purchased half the things I needed for most of those celebrations as a child. So...what was left?
A more light-hearted aspect for Halloween. As a child in the fifth grade, we were given a writing assignment to write a scary story. It was my first attempt at writing (with a computer too *gasp* - no more typewriters! <~~except, I've kind of gone back to them) and I was going to write a great story. Lo and behold, it was a romantic tragedy. My classmates loved it. My teacher didn't, so boohoo to that stupid person. Romantic tragedy. A man fell in love with a ghost. It was not a happy ending and done mostly in flash back. Too bad the old computer died and my paper was tossed out by family. Or else I'd enlighten all of you to my childhood psyche of the power of love wins, yet doomed.
Anyhoooo, back to the post...
In the US, the celebration of Halloween was a bit odd. It seemed that scary movies were played more so during this period (as opposed to all the time when I was growing up). They were more bloody and gorey; twisted but without this sense of psychosis. Asian horror, for the longest time, was about the crazy factor. The "it really could happy." Yet, these gushing bloods and decapitated talking heads were somehow disturbing in it's own way.
As a kid, it was about candy. Not much of those for my life since my parents didn't really let me go trick-o-treating. When Waipo was alive, she would take us, but she wasn't always here at Halloween in those days either. So I stayed home, watched Hocus Pocus (great movie) and gave out candy.
In the teens-college years, this was more of a party time. Party with candy. O_o Not great parties, but we'd tell horror stories with dimmed lights and tell ghost stories. Late college years, theme parks (hehehe). And more horror movies.
This year, I just stayed home, watched TV (not even horror, just random shows) and passed out to the 8 kids that came this year. Yes, 8. All evening. It was weird. When I was younger and wasn't allowed to go Halloween because I have to pass out candy, the children always came non-stop and we would almost run out of candy. Yet, for the past few years, the kids get fewer and fewer.
It wasn't a bad Halloween, but definitely not as festive as the memories of my youth.
In the meantime, I have started on NaNoWriMo. Very exciting and I am nowhere NEAR my daily quota. So, I bid you adieu as I hurry back to my happy novella.
Best of luck everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Halloween and are having a grand weekend. :)