Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Off-Season

I don't celebrate Halloween, never have and, perhaps, never will, save for the years when Colin will come home from school with a pumpkin on his head and a plastic spider in his pocket, with the sole purpose of the fake beast to give mom a genuine fright and with a great hope that she'll not turn the pumpkin into anything edible.

In fact, I don't know what Halloween celebrates exactly, I don't even bother to look it up. We never had it like this in Romania, but still there's something going on around this time that involves occult celebrations and evocation of the dead and, the more I think about it, the more I see a common denominator for customs and habits that stretch through different cultures.

To start with, either on the last day of October or the first of November, the Romanians celebrate the dead. At least the people in Transilvania do that. How they decide whether it's October or November is still a mystery to me and it depends randomly on the village/city, with the bonus that big cities do it for two days.

Whatever that means, it's gorgeous when you're a kid. I still remember how eager I was to attend it. The late people celebrated there meant very little to me (I never met my grandfather and surely not my father's grandparents) but the show was just a splendour.  In my village, the graveyard was/still is on a hill and it was teeming with lit candles that glowed in the night like a huge carpet on fire. And that was just the beginning, more or less like the commercials we get nowadays when we go out to see a movie. The real show was there, on the hill, in the eye of the fire.