October 29, 2014

Growing up in a tropical country, I wasn’t familiar with the halloween traditions. Halloween is celebrated in many countries, especially in the United States of America, and it is also very popular in the United Kingdom. The country I come from, Brazil, have the tradition to celebrate the dead on November 2nd, and people usually remember and honour the spirits.

Halloween has its origin in the British Isles about 1300 years ago. Back then, there were a religion practiced by many people, known as the Wiccans. The Wiccans worshiped the nature, and the females were known as witches, while men would call themselves wizards. The witches celebrated a sabat ritual eight times a year, halloween being the most important.

They believed that on october 31st, the barrier between our world and the spiritual world, becomes very thin. All the souls who had passed away could return to visit the living world. On halloween night, supernatural creatures would roam the earth and the spirits of the dead would have access to revisit their former homes. Back then, the people did not want to be bothered by the dead, and various methods were used to avoid people being possessed by the spirits.

Halloween is traditionally the time when all kind of superstitions are very strong. Here are some of the superstitions regarding halloween:

-Someone born on Halloween have the gift of communicating with the dead;
-If the flame of a candle flickers and then turns blue, there’s a spirit in the room;
-If a black cat crosses your path, it’s a sign of bad luck;
-Talking during dinner may attract ghosts to the table;
-Owls in your window are also associated with the presence of ghosts, and death;

Negative beliefs far outweigh the good, especially around Halloween. Good luck superstitions on halloween are also known, and it is said that if you feel a negative energy on this holiday, you can use a four leaf clover in order to bring good luck, and be protected from evil; a horse shoe as a witch repeller; or a rabbit foot as a good luck amulet.

Despite of the emphasis on the evil spirits on this holiday, I would like to offer a lighter approach to halloween, as a celebration of the souls, an acknowledgement of the spiritual world, and the understanding that life and death is a part of our spiritual journey.

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