Halloween is Everywhere
31st of October is the day of Halloween, a spooky celebration that used to be mostly popular in USA, Canada, UK and Ireland, but now even Japan and Poland are celebrating it.
Few days ago my husband told me that recently Halloween has become really popular in Japan. It is a celebration that creates perfect opportunity for Japanese people to loosen up a little bit, forget about the job-related stress, dress up in awesome costumes and party.
Here are some useful links and articles about Halloween in Japan: photos and video from last years Halloween tokyofashion.com, the tradition of curving turnip, retailers vs. Halloween, how is Osaka celebrating Halloween and many more nice articles about Japan style Halloween on japantimes.co.jp
Honestly speaking I am still unsure what Halloween really is about, all I gather after so many years spent in the UK is that there are a lot of pumpkins, withes, ghosts and monsters everywhere. Oh, and kids dresses up in costumes knocking on the doors asking for sweets, commonly known as ‘trick or treating’. I also read somewhere that Halloween has something to do with the harvest season but I am not too sure. Anyways that is as far as my knowledge of this celebration goes, and that is OK, because I was born and raised in a different tradition, which did not have Halloween.
The past month and a half or so there were a lot of Halloween themed gadgets, decorations, costumes and sweets everywhere, but after living in the UK for so long it has become normal for me to have British people preparing for their holidays long in advance. Truthfully I am really neutral if it comes to Halloween, I am not celebrating it but it does not bother me if someone does, after all we all can do as we please x]. But when I was a kid growing up in Poland we did not have Halloween (we do now but it is fairly new celebration), and so no one did knocking on strangers doors asking for candy. But recently Halloween has become a so-called new secular tradition that migrated to Poland in the 90’s, apparently but I don’t remember any Halloween theme celebration happening at that time and I was a kid in the 90’s Poland. Unless places like Warsaw and Krakow have done some Halloween’ing but I wouldn’t be able to tell. Anyways back to the story, so instead of dressing up our houses in the imitations of spider webs and witches’ brooms we were buying a lot of candles and flowers and going to the cemetery to light the candles on the graves of our departed family members. It was a time of remembering our beloved that have passed away, and we would spend a lot of time at the graves, even at night, and no it was not scary or spooky, because everyone was visiting graves at that time, lighting candles, so the whole cemetery would be really bright, and kind of beautiful. So what we celebrated and still celebrate in Poland is All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day – Wszystkich Swietych i Zaduszki.
All Saints’ Day (Wszystkich Swietych) – is a roman catholic and various other christian churches celebration in honour of all saints known and unknown. It is mostly linked to the celebration of martyrs who gave their life for Christ. It was first celebrated on the 13 of May. But it was moved in 731 by Pope Gregor III to the 1st of November.
All Souls’ Day (Zaduszki) – is celebrated on the 2nd of November, a day after the All Saints’ Day and is a day to remember death, on that day people travel to the cemeteries, lay flowers and light candles on the graves of their beloved departed.