Compare and Contrast: Halloween to Day of the dead - Halloween Essay Example
Compare and Contrast: Halloween to Day of the dead
Halloween (aka Hallows’ eve) is celebrated on October 31 in numerous countries. It has its origins in pagan celebrations for the end of the harvest season, numerous festivals of the dead, and the Celtic Samhain festival. While Day of the Dead (aka Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday. Day of the Dead is also celebrated in parts of the U.S and Latin America, to pray and remember family and friends who have died on November 1. Next we compare the origins of these holidays. Day of the Dead can be traced back to native cultures in Mexico in the past 2,500 to 3,000 years, who had ceremonies rejoicing the deaths of ancestors. The festival initially transpired in the ninth month of the Aztec calendar and lasted for the whole month. While Halloween is believed to have pagan origins, and is related to the Celtic festival Samhain, when the “door” to the Otherworld was alleged to be open so that the souls of the dead could enter this world.
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The celebrations of hallows’ eve and day of the dead are very different. The Day of the Dead rejoices and thinks of friends and family members who have died. In most parts of Mexico, the Day of the Dead is used to honor children and infant family members that died. Adults are respected on November 2nd. It takes place on November 1st. People visit graveyards and build secluded altars with the beloved food and drinks of the deceased, as well as photos and other mementos, to inspire the souls to visit. Graves are often draped with orange Mexican marigolds. Toys are brought for dead children, and bottles of pulque, mescal or tequila are taken for adults. Some wear shells on their clothing, so that the sound when dancing will wake the dead.
In modern times, Halloween is celebrated by both children and adults. Children dress up in costumes and go trick-or-treating for candy. They ask the old question “trick or treat,” suggesting that they will cause trouble if no treat is given. Costumes are by tradition ghostly or fear-provoking, but over time, you can get costumes on any theme. Popular games to play around October and on hallows’ eve include apple bobbing and visiting “haunted” houses. Adults and teenagers also enjoy Halloween by throwing costume parties. Day of the Dead is not frightening. It is about remembering and welcoming our dead loved ones back into our homes.
People have a special, magnificent altar for them, their beloved foods and drinks. People tell their stories and clean their burial place. The people who celebrate believe that the spirits visit us. Day of the dead is about them. Halloween is about us. Like, what costume we are going to dress up in, what is the scariest haunted house we could go to, or how much candy we will get. It is about being the nastiest, most petrifying and shocking.