👻Halloween! An unhappy Obon!?👻
In Japan, Halloween is a time to see a parade in Disneyland, and recently,
to go to Shibuya wearing costumes like cosplay, but what about in the USA?
In the US, kids get dressed up in their favorite costumesand go trick or treating in the evening after sunset.
Trick or treating is when they visit different houses in the neighborhood asking for candy🍬.
Most home owners prepare some small pieces of candy to give to the kids,
turning on the front door light as a signal that candy is available.
They also carve jack-o’-lanterns.
These are scary faces in pumpkins that have a candle inside.
The origin of traditions is often difficult to identify, but it seems that Halloween and trick or treating has similarities to what is known as Obon in Japan.
Just like Obon, it is a time when people believe that the spirits of their dead ancestors return.
However opposite to Obon, where many Japanese welcome these spirits, lighting candles and offering sweets and fruit, ancient westerners feared these spirits.
They wore masks to hide from the spirits, evolving now into the various costumes that kids wear.
The jack-o’-lantern is a light with a scary face, again to try to scare the spirits away,not welcome them.
In the past, poor people often visited houses offering to pray for the spirits of the dead in exchange for gifts of food.
This seems to have changed into the trick or treating we now see with kids.
So as you see, Halloween is not just a Disney parade time,
it has more in connection with Obon!