Friday, October 31, 2014
Halloween Traditions, Beliefs Remain Well Observed
A number of superstitious beliefs such as avoiding crossing paths with a black cat, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks on the streets, and spilling salt to avoid misfortune and bad luck will, once again, come into play today particularly in the provinces where these practices are still observed.
Today is Halloween, regarded as one of the world’s oldest holidays which has remained a big event in many countries like the United States, Ireland, Great Britain, and Canada.
Celebrated a day before All Saints’ Day, Halloween through the years has evolved into a day of gatherings and superstition. Old practices such as child-friendly activities like trick-or-treat and costume parties will be held today. Children dressed in varied costumes will make the rounds of commercial establishments — malls, restaurants, and hotels to ask for candies and other treats while chanting “trick or treat.” Homeowners also traditionally have candies ready for all the children.
In recent years, the Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls, which is present in 68 countries including the Philippines, has been actively promoting the proper observance of Halloween as a pre-All Saints’ Day celebration in parishes, dioceses and schools through a campaign called “March of Saints.” The campaign encourages children to dress up as saints and martyrs during parties and parades instead of donning scary costumes.
Pope Gregory III established Nov. 1 as All Saints’ Day and Oct. 31 as All Hallow’s Eve in the 8th century. Liturgically, the Catholic Church celebrated the day as the Vigil of All Saints and until 1970, as a day of fasting.
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