trick-or-treating in san beda

two days away from halloween, we had a surprise early trick-or-treating or guising right here at the college of arts and sciences faculty center this morning! and i couldn’t stop myself from happily mingling with these children in colorful costumes.

catching dracula jr. and embracing a cute she-devil in black
catching dracula jr. and embracing a cute she-devil in black
with pretty young princesses and an angel with a misplaced halo
with pretty young princesses and an angel with a misplaced halo
as i handed them one variety of candy that i have on my table and some coins, i remembered my three sons when they were of the same age. i would excitedly prepare their super hero costumes, which they would wear without any opposition. now, it’s a different story. i wouldn’t even dare suggest this customary celebration to them lest they would again raise the question “what is the halloween for?”
 with this inquiry, i decided to google the history of this most-awaited event in october. http://www.halloweenhistory.org/ has this answer.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.
 Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.
Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”).
 The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.
 The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.
 Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.
 with the trick-or-treating that just took place, i had to continue my googling about this activity for children. http://www.trueghosttales.com/history-trick-or-treat.php provides this comprehensive information.
 “Trick or treat” has become the most popular activity among the many forms of Halloween celebrations in America, and it is also a rather recent development. Trick or treating has been around less than a hundred years. Having children going door-to-door to get sweet treats has developed into a community wide event.
 The best clue for how trick or treat got started comes to us from the Middle, or Dark Ages, when the Catholic church approved the act of “souling”. This event was devised so that beggars could go around asking for food, usually barley or oat cakes, in exchange for prayers. The Catholic church said the prayers were an extra bit of “insurance” that a dead person’s spirit would be given entry into heaven. Soul Cake day is no longer in common practice in England, but it is still rather popular in Scotland and Ireland and from this, it is believed, the concept of trick or treat arose.
 Trick or treating didn’t start happening in America until sometime in the early part of the 20th century. It was first found in magazines and papers in the latter part of the 1930′s. Throughout the 1940′s trick or treat started to get into full swing due to many of the children’s books and TV shows. In 1952, Walt Disney permanently burned it into the minds and hearts of America when his cartoon, Trick or Treat debuted. Trick or treat was here to stay.
 Trick or treating became more widely practiced throughout the 20th century. In recent years many people have started to have issues with the “trick” bit. The original idea was that if you did not give a “treat” to the trick or treaters they would then play a “trick” on you. While egging house or car windows or papering someone’s house or tree could be considered harmless fun, the increase of vandalism for the sake of the “trick” has caused trick or treating to actually be banned in some areas.
 Dressing up in a costume for Halloween celebrations and trick or treating is an American invention and probably resulted from the success seen with Christmas products that began in the 1880′s.
 here in the philippines, many have already adopted this halloween tradition. but expect that this is usually observed by those belonging to the upper echelon. try entering the posh villages in the metropolis and you would see that they already decorated their houses in preparation for this.
 well, the filipinos are ever creative. to the simple juan de la cruzes, they have also come up with their own versions of halloween and guising. i know of two.
 in my in-laws’ hometown in indang, cavite you would see people going from one house to another to render a short song. in return, the owner of the house is expected to give either money or food. they call this “pangangaluluwa”. i think this is the off-shoot of “souling”. my husband shared his childhood experiences on this “pangangaluluwa”. according to him, he and his cousins would bring big bags as they visited each house because they would often receive food in big quantities. a kilo or kilos of rice is one of them. as a young boy though, he would wish for money since he could decide what to buy later on.
 in moonwalk village, people who would swarm on october 31 would do it the easy way. they would simply knock on our gate and shout “ngangaluluwa po!” then your turn to give whatever stuff you got for them.
 on the first year that we experienced this, we had none to hand. i wondered what impression they had about us when we said “patawad po“ right away. for our third year of residency in this place, our family is expected to have prepared candies for these alive wandering “spirits”. this is also what i told myself for next year’s trick-or-treating here in the college – to have lots of candies with me so that i’ll be seeing more toothless smiles from these children.

how i wish i were the candy maker willy wonka!

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