Green Acres Village: Hungry for ceremony, we decide to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos rather than Halloween

In 2012, I wrote a post that paid attention to the fact that we have transformed the word “sacred” into “scared,”morphing what was originally a Pagan holiday, into Halloween.

Happy Halloween?

As one who has long been “in love with death” — magnetized, fascinated by, the never-ending surrender to presence, its rolling oceanic waves continuously pulling me under and tossing me up — I’ve long had an ambivalent relationship with “Halloween.” Despite that, we’ve celebrated Halloween in a big way here in years past.

Post-Script: Halloween Party

That post is from 2015, when we enjoyed perhaps our most elaborate preparations.

This year something changed. Nobody had mentioned Halloween, except for Rebecca, who late last Saturday night, texted me from downtown, where she was thrilled to see that every single costume but one, was fun, not scary, and lots of them creative, handmade. Here are two from the collection she emailed to me:

And, my favorite in this college town . . .

As I said, this year will be different in the Village. At last Thursday’s Community Dinner, several of us started talking about the fact that Halloween was coming up. Almost immediately John (one of the three doctoral students in music now moved into the newly purchased third house) said, “Why don’t we celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, instead? (In Catholic circles, it’s known as All Soul’s day). “Because, unlike Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos acknowledges and celebrates death rather than fears it.” He glanced at his phone calendar. “Yes, it’s November 2nd, same date as our weekly Thursday Community Dinner!” Bingo!

Immediately, everybody joined in: yes, let’s bring candles to honor our loved ones who have passed; we’ll have a pinata, an altar . . . On and on, our Green Acres Village community seems hungry for celebration, ceremony. Stay tuned.



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1 Response to Green Acres Village: Hungry for ceremony, we decide to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos rather than Halloween

  1. Jean Hopkins says:

    Yes, Halloween is being transformed. Burlington Cohousing East Village in VT is now registered with the Teal Pumpkin project which recognizes children with allergies and the dangers of too much sugar! We’ve been getting fewer trick or treaters each year as more children are going to parties at schools instead of going out to strangers’ homes on what could be a cold and rainy night. We did have 9 children with 4 sets of parents who appreciated our teal/turquiose bucket of toys along side the traditional basket of candy.
    I appreciate Ann’s comparison of sacred and scared! Looking forward to your report and pictures of your Day of the Dead celebration which we celebrated here a couple of times led by a couple who have a son in Mexico and speak Spanish.

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