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Forums - General Discussion - Halloween and the Day of the dead!!

Hello fuchifriends! 

As many of you are well aware, we're having some spooky days ahead of us! In the US you have the Halloween and here in Mexico we have the "Dia de los Muertos" (day of the dead). Now, I won't be discussing the traditions themselves in this post, rather I'd like to know your opinion on certain matter regarding these celebrations. As some of you may know, they are, in origin, very similar traditions from different parts of the world that were transformed by Roman Catholicism and ultimately molded by modern society.

Here in Mexico I work as an English teacher and part of my job is to introduce the students to American and British customs, among those the Halloween. Yet, many of the parents of my students reject this idea, and don't allow the children to participate because they say is an "American Tradition". Which to be completely honest, I found it to be the lamest excuse. Because not for celebrating one thing means you cannot be celebrate the other.

So what's your opinion about this? especially if you have visited Mexico or some Latin American countries. If things were backwards, let's say your kids are invited to partake in a foreign tradition, what would be your posture on the matter?

Just to clarify, there are a lot of people down here completely okey with dressing  up their kids on Halloween and go trick or treating, and then two days later, building a "Dia de los muertos" altar. 



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I live in Australia; when I was a kid in the 90s almost nobody here used to celebrate Halloween, but it has steadily grown in popularity since then.

I've often heard the "it's an American thing" criticism from folks in my parents generation, and I don't usually celebrate it myself, but I've been to a few Halloween parties in my time and they've been good fun.

If I were ever to have kids, I'd happily let them participate in the celebrations of other nations if they were welcome to do so, so long as it wasn't something that's extreme by my own standards, like anything promoting violence or supremacy.



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Here in Belgium we have 'Allerheiligen' and 'Allerzielen', which are the holidays on the 1st and 2nd of November respectively. They're not really a celebration though, most people just visit the graveyards.

Halloween is also a thing that came from America, quite recently I suppose, but I'm too young to remember the time before it was introduced. It's still not really as big of a thing as it seems to be in the US though, you won't find a lot of adults dressing up or people wishing eachother a 'happy Halloween'. Children trick-or-treating is a thing that happens but it isn't big either, just a couple of obnoxious kids (I was one of those kids).

The main event of Halloween however, are the walking tours. I don't know to which degree these also exist in other countries, but here you'll find one in every few villages - and they're often attended by hundreds of people. Basically, you sign up at the start, and then you follow the road to the next food stop while people are trying to scare you. I love them. There's something oddly charming about walking through a field on a cold autumn evening, trying to get to the next stop for food and warmth.

I like this way of adapting foreign traditions. People often complain about Halloween, and I get it, it's an extremely commercial and unnecessary holiday. But if wa can make it our own thing, partially going back to a more folky event, I don't see what's wrong with it. Now we actually have a decent autumn holiday!



Flilix said:

Here in Belgium we have 'Allerheiligen' and 'Allerzielen', which are the holidays on the 1st and 2nd of November respectively. They're not really a celebration though, most people just visit the graveyards.

Halloween is also a thing that came from America, quite recently I suppose, but I'm too young to remember the time before it was introduced. It's still not really as big of a thing as it seems to be in the US though, you won't find a lot of adults dressing up or people wishing eachother a 'happy Halloween'. Children trick-or-treating is a thing that happens but it isn't big either, just a couple of obnoxious kids (I was one of those kids).

The main event of Halloween however, are the walking tours. I don't know to which degree these also exist in other countries, but here you'll find one in every few villages - and they're often attended by hundreds of people. Basically, you sign up at the start, and then you follow the road to the next food stop while people are trying to scare you. I love them. There's something oddly charming about walking through a field on a cold autumn evening, trying to get to the next stop for food and warmth.

I like this way of adapting foreign traditions. People often complain about Halloween, and I get it, it's an extremely commercial and unnecessary holiday. But if wa can make it our own thing, partially going back to a more folky event, I don't see what's wrong with it. Now we actually have a decent autumn holiday!

November first and second are the same days we honor our dead here in Mexico as well. I have always find it curious that many of these celebrations fall in very similar dates even when they were originated in very distant places thousands of years ago.



curl-6 said:

I live in Australia; when I was a kid in the 90s almost nobody here used to celebrate Halloween, but it has steadily grown in popularity since then.

I've often heard the "it's an American thing" criticism from folks in my parents generation, and I don't usually celebrate it myself, but I've been to a few Halloween parties in my time and they've been good fun.

If I were ever to have kids, I'd happily let them participate in the celebrations of other nations if they were welcome to do so, so long as it wasn't something that's extreme by my own standards, like anything promoting violence or supremacy.

Do you have a special way to honor your dead in Australia?



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Fuchigole said:
curl-6 said:

I live in Australia; when I was a kid in the 90s almost nobody here used to celebrate Halloween, but it has steadily grown in popularity since then.

I've often heard the "it's an American thing" criticism from folks in my parents generation, and I don't usually celebrate it myself, but I've been to a few Halloween parties in my time and they've been good fun.

If I were ever to have kids, I'd happily let them participate in the celebrations of other nations if they were welcome to do so, so long as it wasn't something that's extreme by my own standards, like anything promoting violence or supremacy.

Do you have a special way to honor your dead in Australia?

Not specifically; some families ritually visit the graves of their loved ones on their birthday or the anniversary of their passing. We have Remembrance Day on the 11th of November to commemorate those who died in war. 

Last edited by curl-6 - on 27 October 2020

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Mexican here as well. I live in Tijuana, so both Halloween and Día de Muertos are broadly acknowledged, although Halloween usually takes the spotlight for the amount of people it moves, a lot of people wander around pledging for candies (at least in the nice colonies). Día de Muertos is usually reserved to the typical dead bread, skull candies, hot chocolate and of course the altars in schools and official institutions.



English teacher in Japan here. In English schools at least halloween is pretty popular with kids and their parents are usually interested and/or make costumes for them too, so there's definitely no resistance to it. As far as I'm aware there isn't really much of a trick or treating custom. ie. if kids have halloween parties then they just have them at school/home and don't go round asking for sweets from strangers (which to be fair is a pretty weird thing to do anyway). That kind of stuff is usually done before the actual day too.

It's funny when teenagers here say they don't like halloween because it's too "childish" though. I've enjoyed the kiddy halloween stuff, I dressed up as Thor, we've been reading "scary" books and I've been leaving plastic spiders on kids chairs to mess with them, but the real appeal of halloween to me is the night itself. Massive costumed drinking party, yay! The adults here have a pretty cool tradition of getting dressed up and then getting wasted on halloween. Probably not going to happen this year (or be incredibly minor if it does), but there's still definitely a fair bit of tradition/interest in halloween here too.

Oh, and the day to honour the dead here is usually in August.

As for whether I'd have issues with my (hopeful future) kids participating in "foreign" festivals, depends what the festival is (the penis festival is all kinds of weird!) but probably not.



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Guess that in this globalised world, the big players can influence culturally everywhere. I don't mind the festivities themselves, specially when you are on said countries and want to celebrate them locally. The only issue I see if the celebrations start conflicting with each other, I can see why some people would reject the foreign holidays as they hold their own in high regards.

Fuchigole said:
Flilix said:

Here in Belgium we have 'Allerheiligen' and 'Allerzielen', which are the holidays on the 1st and 2nd of November respectively. They're not really a celebration though, most people just visit the graveyards.

November first and second are the same days we honor our dead here in Mexico as well. I have always find it curious that many of these celebrations fall in very similar dates even when they were originated in very distant places thousands of years ago.

All Saints' Day / Día de Todos los Santos on the 1st of November is what is traditionally celebrated in Spain to honour the dead.
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/01/world/all-saints-day-trnd/index.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Day



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Spreading different cultures is always a good thing to do, in my opinion, but all depends on how it's done. In general, in my country at least, I see that people absorb only the most superfluous part of any given foreign tradition, making it a mere excuse to get drunk and/or compulsively buy stuff. To me, that's far from cultural or enriching.

I understand that a whole tradition that has been passing on from generation to generation for maybe centuries in a certain country is just not going to root in another one for the sake of it, but holding some cultural events related to all that legacy would be a very good thing to do, and would make people actually understand what they are celebrating and why. For instance, what the OP said of introducing students to foreign customs. I think that's pretty nice. And that's what I think it should be done: exposing people to the cultural aspects of foreign traditions and actually embracing all those different cultures, instead of turning them into reasons to drink or spend money.

Of course, I know that would take some more economical investment for governments, so it would probably not be worth it, specially because people can just search for information on the internet if they are interested. But, yeah, I think that would be a much better way to manage this kind of festivities.


Also, as TomaTito said, here in Spain we have the All Saints' Day on the 1st of November, even though it's not a tradition that I particularly like. If I want to honour my dead, I'd rather do it when I can be almost alone in an almost quiet place, and not in the middle of a crowd coming and going. I think that's kind of cold, too impersonal.


Anyway, happy Halloween to everyone!



Please, feel free to correct my English.