Halloween is a holiday highly valued and celebrated all over the world but here in Kenya, things are a little different. People perceive Halloween differently and our culture does not accommodate this holiday. In this post, I will tell you a few things that you may not know about Halloween in Kenya.
This post contains opinions gathered from people around me and common observations. I never knew of this holiday until my last year of high school. From that, you can already tell that it is not really a holiday that people take into consideration. So, back then, there were very few if any Halloween celebrations.
Here are a few unknown or possibly known facts about this not so famous holiday in Kenya:
1. It is a holiday that is associated with the devil.
Its theme is often associated with evil especially by people of an older generation. This is because of the dark colors and most of us have grown up knowing that darkness and black color are a symbol of evil and curses. This is not something anybody wants to get close to.
You really can’t blame us because from what I have read, Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals which may have had pagan roots. But actually, the perceived evil holiday has a Christian origin, ‘hallowed evening’ or ‘holy evening’. (I seriously didn’t know this until the point of writing this article)
Did you know the true meaning of this holiday? Let me know in the comments.
2. Decorations are very rare.
If you run into any Halloween decorations here, you are lucky. I have never seen those here. Nobody bothers to decorate their houses.
Honestly, I think if anybody put those decorations they would first be accused of practicing witchcraft. You would be judged and condemned. For that reason, everybody stays away from such.
Again, you cannot blame us because it the culture we have been brought up in.
3. The costumes are not really a thing.
When it comes to costumes, it not evident. People will rarely go out of their way to choose and wear costumes. It really does not matter whether or not there is a function or party.
I don’t know why costumes are not worn. All the same, costumes are the holiday’s tradition but there is no Halloween tradition here. Therefore, why would we wear costumes?
4. Halloween parties are rare.
Whether at home or large gatherings, Halloween parties are unheard of. Once in a while, masquerade parties are held but are not as intense as other countries.
We fear everything that symbolizes evil. Everybody wants to be as far away as possible from anything that could imply curses, witches and darkness. Hopefully, in a few years, we will be doing more on Halloween.
5. It is known as the devil’s birthday.
This is why the holiday is not celebrated. Who wants to celebrate the devil? Some of us strongly believe that it is
As days go by, we are adopting bits and pieces of the holiday. I consider holidays a reason for friends and family to unite and have fun. If the holiday will bring us together, then it is worth it to celebrate.
In the urban areas, Halloween parties are on the rise. At least, Halloween is no longer a strange word. It is quite hard for us to change our culture but we can adopt the good things about the holiday.
One thing I love is that the whole Halloween tradition is transitioning from wearing scary costumes and generally being associated with evil to people imitating superstars and mystery characters from movies they love. It is becoming a holiday that allows people to be who they admire.
After what I have learned about this holiday, I somehow think it is worth the celebration. All we need is to shift from associating it with evil and seeing the Christian background. But we all know how hard change is.
This is the last Halloween article I have for you this year. I hope you enjoyed the posts. I have really loved writing these posts and I look forward to more. For now, whether or not you celebrate, I wish you the best Halloween ever.