Mason’s Musings October 27th, 2023
Halloween has always been one of, if not my favorite holiday. I love all of the spooky decorations and the creative costume ideas that people come up with. But, as I’m sure you’re all well aware, this is not how Halloween looks for other parts of the world. Come take a trip with me around the globe as we discover how other countries celebrate “Halloween.”
While England and the U.K. do celebrate Halloween as we know it today, they also celebrate a holiday called “Guy Fawkes Day”. Guy Fawkes conspired in a failed assassination attempt on King James I using gunpowder barrels on November 5th 1605. Citizens of England celebrate this failed attempt on King James’ life by lighting bonfires while children on the streets will ask for “A penny for the guy”. The holiday has become somewhat of a “Thanksgiving” like holiday for the people of England, as they spend time with family, watch parades, and attend bonfires.
Guatemala’s Barriletes Gigantes Festival is an amazing spectacle of color flying high in the sky. The Giant Kite festival is a way for Guatemalans to honor their deceased loved ones, much like Dia De Los Muertos. However, instead of offrendas and sugar skulls, it’s giant colorful kites! The kites fly high above the graves of family members and supposedly represent a bridge between the dead and the living.
This festival doesn’t fall on October 31st, or even take place in October it is a festival that honors passed loved ones. The Qingming festival which starts around the beginning of April translates to “tomb-sweeping day”. Families will visit their loved one’s tombs and sweep away the dirt and grime as a sign of respect and honor for the one who has passed.
Ognissanti, or “All Saints Day” is an Italian holiday which seeks to honor all saints that have come and gone for their devotion. There isn’t just one way to celebrate Ognissanti because different regions of Italy have their own spin on the holiday. In Sicily, children who are well behaved will get treats from the deceased. While those from Abruzzo and Trentino fashion lanterns out of pumpkins.
Of course, we can’t talk about Halloween-like holidays without talking about the one that started it all. Samhain (pronounced SOW-wen), the Celtic holiday where the veil between the dead and the living was the thinnest. Samhain was considered the Celtic new year that celebrated the end of summer and the harvest season before preparing for the coming chill of winter. Many of the traditions we see today in modern Halloween, such as dressing up and donning masks and carving Jack O’ Lanterns, came from Samhain and the ancient Celts beliefs.
We’ve now landed back home in Krum, Texas. Thank you all for flying Air Musings with me. Make sure to grab your luggage and watch your step when getting off. It’s so interesting to see different culture’s takes on holidays that have been such a normal part of our lives. I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween and make sure to save me some candy! I’ll see you in November.
Library Events 10/27-11/3:
Friday October 27th – Friday Free Play! Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come to the library for a free play time every Friday 11 AM to Noon! Toys are changed out monthly.
Friday October 28th – From 3:00-5:00 PM bring your children down for the library’s annual Halloween Carnival! Children’s entry fee is $5 each and adults enter for free, refreshments are provided with purchase of a ticket. Enjoy all of our fun games and earn chances to win prizes! Costumes are encouraged for this night of spooky fun.
Wednesday November 1st – Children’s Hour with Ms. Katie! Bring the little ones for story time with Ms. Katie. Stories, songs, activities, and crafts are all part of the fun. Children’s Hour starts at 10:00 AM and occurs every Wednesday of each month (excluding January and August).
Friday November 3rd – Friday Free Play! Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come to the library for a free play time every Friday 11 AM to Noon. Come have fun with the new November toys!