viernes, 31 de octubre de 2008

HOY - HALLOWEEN - HOY

Halloween es una fiesta que se celebra en gran parte del mundo occidental la noche del 31 de octubre, víspera del Día de Todos los Santos (1 de noviembre). Sus orígenes se remontan a los celtas, y la fiesta fue exportada a los Estados Unidos por los emigrantes irlandeses en el siglo XIX, más o menos por 1846.

Debido a la influencia de los Estados Unidos en el resto del mundo y al marketing de las empresas, Halloween se ha popularizado también en otros países pese a que mucha gente la sigue considerando una fiesta norteamericana sobre todo donde se tiene más costumbres arraigadas para este mismo día.

La palabra Halloween tiene sus orígenes en la Iglesia Católica. Es una constracción de la oración en inglés All Hallows Eve que significa "El Día de Todos los Santos" y es una fiesta religiosa católica que se celebra el 1 o 2 de noviembre.

Su historia remonta a más de 2.500 años, cuando el año celta terminaba al final del verano, el preciso día 31 de octubre de nuestro calendario. El ganado era rejuntado de las prados en los establos. Ese último día, se suponía que los espíritus podían salir de los cementerios y apoderarse de los cuerpos de los vivos para resucitar. Para evitarlo, los habitantes de los poblados celtas ensuciaban las casas y las "decoraban" con huesos, calaveras y demás cosas desagradables para que los muertos pasaran de largo asustados y así evitar ser desposeídos de sus cuerpos por dichos espíritus. De ahí viene la tradición de decorar con motivos siniestros las casas en la actual víspera de todos los santos.

A mediados del siglo XVIII, los emigrantes irlandeses empiezan a llegar a América. Con ellos llegan su cultura, su folclore, sus tradiciones, su Halloween... En un primer momento Halloween sufre una fuerte represión por parte de las autoridades de Nueva Inglaterra, de arraigada tradición luterana. Pero a finales del siglo XIX, los Estados Unidos reciben una nueva oleada de inmigrantes de origen céltico.

La fiesta de Halloween, en América, se mezcla con otras creencias indias y en la secuela colonial, el Halloween incluye entre sus tradiciones el contar historias de fantasmas y la realización de travesuras, bromas o los bailes tradicionales. La gente comienza a confeccionar disfraces o trajes para Halloween.

Así, en Estados Unidos, Halloween, evoluciona y se desentiende de la tradición cristiana. Halloween se convierte en una noche con aura de débil misterio, brujas, fantasmas, duendes, espíritus, pero sin que se pierda el ánimo festivo y el buen humor. Una noche de dulces, bromas, disfraces y películas de terror, perdidos ya los miedos atávicos de los viejos ancestros irlandeses.
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En nuestro sur del continente, la fiesta está animada principalmente por los niños que despliegan toda su fantasía y salen desde la mañana misma a recoger golosinas por el barrio, con sus disfraces de vampiros, brujas, hombres lobo, etc., en un jolgorio de risas y alegría.
Claro que es comercial esta festividad, y por supuesto que es importada la costumbre, pero acaso es autóctono como festejamos la fiesta navideña, por ejemplo. O que tiene que ver el arbolito de navidad (que no es un ceibo, verdad?) lleno de nieve un 25 de diciembre con 32º a la sombra, Papá Noel o Santa (!?) Claus, con el nacimiento de Jesucristo? Y ni hablar lo que ponemos en nuestra mesa en esa fiesta tradicional, pan dulce, turrones etc; alimentos adecuados para bajas temperaturas y festividades donde la nieve y el frío justifican la injesta de tantas calorías.
En fin, si los niños se divierten, si solamente sirve para que jueguen en una actividad colectiva, bien vale la pena abrir la puerta y encontrarse con unos cuántos monstruos enanos que nos gritan reclamando golosinas!!!

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