Halloween celebration went down over the weekend in many parts of the world with so much excitement but in Nigeria it was greeted with criticisms. Ogechi Okorondu writes…
Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31 where people dress up in creepy, scary, masks and costumes in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.
Although, the celebration went down well in other parts of the world but in Nigeria as usual the celebration got its fair share of criticisms from those who had no regard for the feast and saw no reason why people from this part of the continent should attach any importance or celebrate Halloween at all.
While many wondered on how the Halloween celebration found its way into Nigeria’s feast calendar others attached mysticism to the whole celebration as they took to the social media to register their disgust for Halloween.
Last year, the celebration was greatly criticised by Nigerians on the social media with comments such as these accompanying posts on the Halloween celebration in Nigeria.
@Uchez2, “Stupidity is when Nigerian remembers the date of Halloween but can’t remember the date of his/her village yam festival”
@RitaOnwurah, “Until I see them celebrating Nigerian/African festivals in the abroad, I’m not celebrating any yeye Halloween.”
@solomonapenja, “You are Nigerian. You deride African Ancestors’ Worship but celebrate halloween. You are a mental slave. Emancipate yourself. Free ya mind.”
Okey Bakassi @OkeyBakassi “I can only support the celebration of Halloween in Nigeria when White people start celebrating New Yam Festival too.”
charles novia @charlesnovia , “And brain-dead people have the guts to throw Halloween parties in Nigeria? And mumus will flock to those venues. Shame! Una fall una hand.”
@queenlyn90: “We can’t have Halloween in Nigeria cause witches will misuse it. yeah and some ppls face are already costumes for Halloween.”
@ebukaakara, “All I know is that we can’t hold a Halloween in Nigeria. We have real Witches, Wizards and Ghosts here.”
“@Lionezz, “Since when did we start celebrating Halloween in Nigeria?”
@nollywdreinvntd “….they will poison you o! they will put juju in that shoklate, you will just eat and die #halloweeninnigeria.”
Chet Bashari Anekwe @chetanekwe, “When did we start doing Halloween in Nigeria? Is not everything we need to copy… How about we copy the concept of constant light..”
@Kator95 , “Tonight is #Halloween & we can’t even have #Halloween in Nigeria, because all the witches will misuse the opportunity & kill everybody.”
@cohann, “Who ever dressed up like corruption or a bad Road easily wins any Halloween costume competition in Nigeria.”
@_Ellvis: “Going for Halloween in Nigeria is like going for obanje meeting beside mami water. Halloween in Nigeria? once you drop your candy in any strangers pumpkin calabash say goodbye to your future career.”
@Amebor , “I wish I could go to doors in Nigeria saying “treak or treat” for Halloween, but these Nigerian dudes would just land me slap.”
To add salt to injury, Nollywood damsel, Stella Damsasus got it hot from her fans when she appeared in a cat attire to celebrate Halloween. Fans who thought the actress should not have participated in Halloween because she is a Christian got the shock of their lives when she came all out to call them ignorant and shameless while trying to explain the true meaning of Halloween.
This year, many celebrities defiled the criticisms and went on to celebrate in different parties. Toolz says she channeled a demon , Munachi Abii rocked a kitten look while Praiz, Sarah Ofili, Moet Abeb and many other joined the trail too.
According to ancient tradition, Halloween was meant to celebrate the dead and wandering souls. In old England cakes were made for the wandering souls, and people went looking for soul cakes. Halloween was a time of magic. It also became a day of divination, with a host of magical beliefs: for instance, if persons hold a mirror on Halloween and walk backwards down the stairs to the basement, the face that appears in the mirror will be their next lover.
Virtually all present Halloween traditions can be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead. Halloween is a holiday of many mysterious customs, but each one has a history, or at least a story behind it. The wearing of costumes, for instance, and roaming from door to door demanding treats can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and around, along with fairies, witches, and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these dreadful creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink.
This practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating evolved. To this day, witches, ghosts, and skeleton figures of the dead are among the favorite disguises. Halloween also retains some features that harken back to the original harvest holiday of Samhain, such as the customs of bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, as well as the fruits, nuts, and spices cider associated with the day.