Home Life and Style Culture Shock! Halloween: The Diaspora festival of warding off ghosts

Halloween: The Diaspora festival of warding off ghosts


HALLOWEEN is a very popular American festival. For someone new in the US this may be frightening as it is not widely practiced in Kenya. So, Jipange! Do not be caught unawares. Take it in its stride. Who knows? You may even like it. You can choose to celebrate or not. The conscience is yours.

So every October 31, celebrants wear different types of costumes to work. Do not be surprised if your doctor, caretaker or boss shows up dressed like a ghost, a spider, cat, tortoise or spider. There is a lot of exchange of candy and children walk from door to door begging for sweets. Over time parents have become more and more wary on who gives their kids sweets so unless you have the trust of your neighbors, Take cautious let you are accused of lacing your candy with poison or drugs and charged with murder.

Halloween – Found decorated in many supermarkets

It is generally a fun time and you may find yourself caught in the spirit.

The night before Halloween is dogged with plenty of scary tricks. The most common is people, throwing raw eggs at you. Be on the lookout especially when you are out when school pupils are leaving school or if night finds you on the streets.

If you see a spider on Halloween, it could be the spirit of a dead loved one who is watching youIf you ring a bell on Halloween, it will scare evil spirits away. In North America, it is bad luck if a black cat crosses your path and good luck if a white cat crosses your path.

Black cats were thought to be witches familiars (i.e., beings that aided witches in performing witchcraft). … Another theory suggests that black cats may have become associated with Halloween as a result of folklore and superstitions about them being evil and causing bad luck.

Halloween pumpkin and skulls- a normal feature in the US festival

The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack OLantern to America. But, the original Jack OLantern was not a pumpkin. Pumpkins did not exist in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow’s Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits.

Not every American celebrates Halloween though.

Tatanya Bronson, 29 says she does not celebrate Halloween because as a Christian this goes against her faith. Bronson said this in an interview with Tujipange KE in New York.

“It’s an evil day and since I‘m grounded in the church we prefer to call on the Holy Spirit, not ghosts. It is a time when evil spirits are out there, you know! It is a high time for people who practice witchcraft so it’s definitely not a safe time to be out there. If you think about it, everything is very evil. It celebrates ghosts, blood, souls and hornets. Halloween opens us up to things that are not for God. They use candy to lure kids to Satanism,” she claims.

Hallowen ghosts hung outside many homes and offices

Sandra Phillips says she is happy that she lives in apartment and this means children do not get to knock on her door. Phillips says she does not buy candy because her Catholic faith does not encourage engagement with ghosts. “My daughter usually buys candy and we celebrate the day as a harvest day. We decorate with pumpkin and no other creatures, “she says.

Kinshala Mwakitirire, 42, a refugee from Rwanda who has lived in the US for two years says she is disgusted by the holiday. “I never thought that such a developed country could entertain the devil in such a serious way. Why should an adult with children dress like a cat. This is very bad behavior. Even though they say when in Rome we should do as Romans do, for this I’m afraid I must think again. As for me and my house we shall serve the Lord,” she told Tujipange KE.

How was Halloween started?

Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

Halloween skeletons

Hansen: The practices of Halloween mostly come from Celtic paganism in the British Isles, and their feast of Samhain, the New Year. They believed it was the time when ghosts and spirits came out to haunt, and the Celts would appease the spirits by giving them treats.

What is the purpose of Halloween?

Halloween is the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows’ Day (also known as All Saints’ or Hallowmas) on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of All Hallows’ Eve (meaning the evening before All Hallows’ Day

When did the trick or treating begin?

Trick or treating on Halloween popped up in North America in the1920s and 1930s, first in the western half of the continent. The term and the practice slowly spread, with a brief respite during WWII.

How does the trick or treating work?

The “trick” is a (usually idle) threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given to them. It typically happens during the evening of October 31. Some homeowners signal that they are willing to hand out treats, for example by putting up Halloween decorations outside their door.

What is a trunk or a treat?

Trunk-or-treat events bring Halloween to parking lots where kids go from car to car and get candy. They’re popular at schools, churches, in rural areas where homes are far apart, and in places where trick-or-treating isn’t safe.

How do you go trick or treating?


  1. Purchase or make a costume
Standing in line for popular Halloween costumes
  1. Convince some friends to go with you.
  2. Go to a door.
  3. Say, “Trick-or-treat” with a nice smile.
  4. Say, “Thank you, happy Halloween!”
  5. If they let you pick your candy, make sure it’s a candy you like.   HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Dental Tip

Brush your teeth before bed after an overwhelming candy eve. This may save you a visit to the dentist.

Additional source www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/what-is-halloween-and-why-do-children-trick-or-treat/

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