I have always loved Halloween. There is a magic in being able to dress up and embody another character, even for just one night. For traditional Belizeans, Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is the first of three days celebrating the dearly departed. October 31st is the eve of the Christian celebrations of All Saints Day (November 1st) and All Souls Day (November 2nd). Halloween may now be a joyous day where children and adults alike dress up and have a jolly time, but there may be a darker side to it. It’s a story that has been passed from one generation of Belizeans to another.
Let me share a story, one told for many years by those older and wiser then us.
Every October 31st that approached, my grandmother would to tell me a tale of what it ‘truly’ means to celebrate Halloween. To her, and generations before, Halloween is the celebration of the devil – the one day out of the year wherein the gates of hell open and demons roam freely on earth. Sounds just like an old folk’s tale, right? After all, wouldn’t we be able to tell a demon or monster from a real person. Well, that’s the tricky part… most people are in costume, each one more ghoulish than the other! How can you truly tell?
To my grandmother – a devoted Christian Mestizo woman – any person that would partake in the celebration of All Hallows Eve was a pagan celebrating Satan himself. She warned us youth to stay away from this celebration, because it was an open invitation to let demons into your life. She went so far as to share ‘real life’ scenarios of people she knew who had celebrated Halloween and were then plagued with misfortune for the rest of their lives.
As children this used to scare us just a bit, but the allure of candy always won, and off to Trick-or-Treat we went!
Be it true or not, it’s an interesting story, tying in the customs and beliefs of Celtic-speaking countries.
Those of us who don’t want to miss out on the fun of Halloween, we join the biggest Halloween party in Belize – The Holiday Hotel Halloween Bash! Every year, hundreds of islanders dress in their best costumes in hopes of winning amazing prizes. With plenty to drink and great dance music, this is a party you don’t want to miss! This year’s event is tentatively set for Saturday, October 28th at 8PM.
Children and our furry friends also celebrate Halloween during Saga’s Spectacular Party. Held at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar from 11AM, the whole family – including the dog – can come out and enjoy an afternoon of good food and entertainment. This year’s fun is tentatively set for Sunday, October 19th.
With a bit of faith and goodness in your heart, Halloween can be loads of fun. If you’re into the spookiness, be on the lookout!

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About the Author: Janelle Cowo

Janelle loves traveling and experiencing new cultures both within and across the border of Belize. She particularly enjoys history and is an avid Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance reader. What she lacks in stature, Janelle has (and even surpasses) in spirit for adventure. She is willing to try pretty much anything, from daring jumps to new eats. She loves sharing her adventures with her daughter Inori, hoping to encourage her to lead an adventurous life and enjoy the beauty of the world around her. Janelle lives her life according to Mae West quote “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

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