So tonight the USA celebrates Halloween and like most Americans the kids really get into the celebration. This is definitely the holiday where I literally see trucks full of people I've never seen in my entire life driving slowing through my neighborhood. The kids get out and we give candy away. Now that I only have one child, he's really 17 and 6'3", he really prides himself in making sure the kids get quality candy. Trust me we have always been the house with the full size candy bars and a ring pop...but now that he is in charge of the distribution he wanted to make sure we have a variety. So I've been buying candy for 6 weeks...YEP! He told me to start buying the candy 6 weeks ago. "Mom just get a huge bag or two every time you go to Publix!" I just smiled and nodded, knowing this will be the last time this happens. Call me a Scrooge, but I know deep down in my heart that I will not be spending my retirement money on candy that give children unnecessary calories and cavitites. Now that I think about it, maybe I am the Halloween Scrooge... (shrugs).
So this American holiday really began as the festival of Samhain. It was part of the ancient Celtic religion in Britain and other parts of Europe. At the end of summer, the Celts thought the barrier between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits got really thin. Well I have never thought of anything except candy and dressing up when I was young.
El Dia de los Muertos on the other hand - The Day of the Dead- is celebrated in Mexico and many other Latin American countries including Peru. Most countries in Latin America had a history of honoring their ancestors long before the Spanish showed up. In Peru, people were mummified and these mummies might be taken on processions at certain times and offered food and drink.
The celebration can be extremely festive, almost like a birthday party. It will include things like the departed’s favorite foods and even things they enjoyed in life. People dress up and paint their faces in decorative ways. In some parts of Peru, people will have the celebration in the cementaries believing that the dead will rise at midnight to partake in the celebration (kinda creepy huh?).
Well there you have it a little bit of information about a holiday similar to the American holiday of Trick or Treat. By the way, anyone reading this I like Starburst and Twix...