Halloween not for everyone
Did you know, that generally – Halloween isn’t celebrated by Jamaicans, for a variety of reasons.
Halloween was originally a Christian festival named All Hallows Eve (or All Saints Day) – a time to remember the dead (including saints, martyrs and the faithful departed). All Hallows Eve was created by the Catholic church in the middle ages, to counteract the pagan Celtic festival of Samhain (Sam-win), where October 31st would mark the end of the harvest season.
The festival of All Hallows Eve has been celebrated for over 2,000 years, but it has undergone a name change, and a distinct change of focus too, since being ‘Americanised’.
In came the new name, Halloween – and a more commercial aspect along with it too. And along with these changes, came the differing points of view.
Older generation Jamaicans, especially those still residing in the Caribbean, will often have nothing to do with the festival, believing that dressing up as witches and ghosts is akin to devil worship. For others, regardless of where they live, they may have tolerated the festival, but been alienated by unfamiliar and irrelevant practices like ‘trick or treat’.
Ultimately, the ‘festival’ has no roots in Caribbean or Jamaican folklore, which explains why, for many, it just passes by unacknowledged. In that case, we advise simply shutting your curtains, turning off the lights, and letting it all carry on without you!