When Halloween jumps into peoples’ minds, an image of a wickedly imaginative costume and makeup, engaging in a horror movie marathon, or memories of trick-or-treating as a child often emerges. But how often is the historical significance and, more importantly, the practice behind it considered amidst the fun?
And not necessarily in a bad way, but in a thoughtful way.
Each country has practiced their own traditions of Halloween, stretching back for centuries. It originated with the Celtics who observed a festival during their harvest time that they called Samhain. Samhain symbolized an ending to a season, when the Celtics took their crops and produce out of the fields and sought to preserve them through the winter. The Celtics would kindle bonfires so they could wish the dead well on their journey through the afterlife and the fires would keep the spirits away from those still living. This signified the start to the eternal cycle.
However, Catholic missionaries arrived and encouraged Celtics to adapt their practices to their religion, before eventually deciding the emphasis on the supernatural was too pagan. Even still, the concept of the traveling dead appealed to the core of human nature so the Catholic faith established an All Souls Day in which the living prayed for the dead. Today, a mix of the practices have united based on the enigmatic tales that are grounded in the ancient Celtic tradition.
A general lesson of kindness may be applied in just these two examples and these two groups. Despite how students have diverse ideas, backgrounds, and thinking, they should be open to learning what they can from each other and traditions they may have grown up with. Sometimes the differences have the tendency to be scary at first, if a person is receptive to challenging their individual beliefs. It is not a “trick-or-treat” of convincing someone to believe the same as you either. Rather your philosophy or religion should play the trick of treating someone exactly how you would like others to do to you.
And sometimes we need to let some ways in which we think die, or we will never advance as a multicultural community.
On that note, this Halloween, perhaps set some time aside and reflect upon the good times of any loved ones you have lost: light a candle, visit a grave, or take some time alone. Maybe you have not lost anyone but you are holding onto something or someone you need to let go of. Do not place a time limit on your grieving process, since everyone is different, but realize seasons exist for a reason and time constantly moves on.
My advice is this: maintain mindfulness in how you conduct matters in your daily rituals, whether the action lies within your treatment of others.
Because no one lives forever. None of us are special when it comes to that truth. We all are going to die someday.
You may as well live each day you can, freely forgiving and showing how much you care.