‘Trick or treat' vs 'Be my valentine'
"Halloween is not a part of our culture," said Sinthia Afroz, a university student studying BBA. She was indeed correct, halloween is not a part of our culture. It is celebrated widely in foreign countries for different reasons and beliefs. But there is a lot more to halloween than one might know.
PHOTO: NABILA BASHER
Known variously as Samhain, Summer's End, All Hallow's Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple night, Halloween is among the world's oldest holidays. Rooted in ancient pagan and Christian festivals that celebrated the inextricable link between seasonal and life cycles, Halloween has transcended its cultural roots and is currently celebrated in various forms all over the modern world. Halloween as it exists today is an exciting array of dichotomies as it delights both children and adults, prompts private religious observance as well as public exhibitionism, and blends personal imagination with mass marketing. A day full of magic and mystery, Halloween has not only survived, but it has thrived during epic cultural, religious, economic, and industrial changes throughout its long history.
As mentioned above, twice, Halloween is NOT a part of our culture. But neither is Valentine's Day. What the real matter here is that most people here celebrate Valentine's day not knowing what it is really about. On February 14 we celebrate Saint Valentine's Day, usually by the way of exchanging cards, sweets, flowers or jewelry. But, what exactly are we celebrating? We are following a Christian and ancient Roman tradition (a lot like Halloween). Valentine, the priest, did not obey the law and celebrated the holy bond of marriage for young couples in secrecy. Of course, the way it always works with secret clauses, he was caught and sentenced to death. The second legend believes that Valentine was a prisoner who fell in love with a young woman, who came to see him often. It is believed that she was his jailor's daughter. Before his untimely death he wrote her a love letter, signed with 'Your Valentine'. Hence the phrase 'Be my Valentine'.
During Valentine's Day, Bangladesh goes through a hype like no other. People wearing red everywhere, stories and articles printed about the day, everybody's in the mood to love, popular singers are requested to sing famous love songs on television and so much more. So why not have fun in Halloween?
"I used to celebrate Halloween when I was in England. It was such a different and amazing experience. Making my own costumes, going trick or treating (even after being so old), looking at everyone else's costumes. I really felt like a kid again! I wish we could do this in our country. It is, actually, a lot more fun than Valentine's day." says Srabonty Ahmed who has just finished her undergrads from England. "Halloween recently started being celebrated for those who are little more imaginative. This year there was a big Halloween bash and hopefully there will be more from next year onwards. I think it's a really great holiday to celebrate rather than Valentine's day," adds Karishma Hossian .
At the end of the day, Halloween is a festival for all-- children, parents, friends, family, colleagues and more. Everyone can be a part of it by showing their imagination and creativity whilst the children can collect candy from the neighbours and relatives. There's no age requirement, no relationship requirement, nothing! It's just a day to let go, have fun and find that inner child within us all!
(Resources used: Internet)