Halloween for Different Generations

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this is Halloween weekend. Halloween was originally known as “All Hallows Eve,”  the day before All Saints Day, which is the Catholic Church’s celebration of all the saints in history. Like most modern holidays, Halloween has become commercialized. Instead of prayers, we ask for candy and instead of dressing conservatively, we wear something overpriced and polyester.

If you’re like me, you have at least 1 parent who was not born in the United States. Maybe they never got to experience Halloween as we do now. Of course, trick-or-treating will be viewed as “American,” but from what I’ve observed, my Filipino cousins that live all over the world are starting to dress up too.

I am very Americanized and a firm believer in free candy. However, I’m not going to lie. It can be tough being part Pacific Islander and living with relatives who still have an “old school” mentality. My pious grandmother, for example, considered Halloween to be a sinful holiday for many years. In her youth, she celebrated it by attending mass with her family. After many years of living in America, her view towards Halloween has changed. One year she even gave out candy!

On the opposite side of the spectrum, one of my aunts believes in vampires. Personally, I think she is bat-crazy. No pun intended. Luckily, we are not blood related! There I go again with the vampire references.

When I visited that part of the family over the summer, the trailer for Eclipse happened to play in the background while everyone was eating dinner one night. Her reaction, “Can you believe that—a girl loving a vampire? How sinful!” I pompously replied, “No, I don’t [believe that]. It’s called fiction.” She muttered something in “Taglish” about “If I had only believed, then I would understand.” Call me ignorant, but I just didn’t get it. So I decided to research “Vampire Myths in Philippines” and to my surprise there are websites that actually explain this. Granted, some of these websites are not credible. It surprised me that people actually believe in mythical creatures….And not the Edward Cullen kind, but the ones that will make you want to sleep with the lights on!

I am aware that my aunt, my grandmother, and I have grown up to view Halloween differently. There are those who become more Westernized, like my grandmother and others, like my aunt, who choose to steer clear of anything affiliated with the commercialized holiday. All I can say is that we can agree to disagree. Every culture commemorates holidays in their own special way. Regardless, enjoy the festive weekend no matter how you choose to celebrate!


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