By: J. Pastore
Halloween is highly regarded as one of the most celebrated holidays, yet many don’t know the intricate story behind it. We all know it takes place on the 31st of October, but why specifically do we celebrate it at October’s end?
Let’s start at the beginning. Once recognized as a religiously symbolic holiday and now merely an emblem of pumpkin carving and trick or treating, Halloween traces back to its thousand-year-old origin at the Celtic festival of Samhain. On the day of November 1, the souls of the dead were believed to return to their homes, and the populace would dress in costumes to ward off these spiritual entities. Through this, the tradition of wearing costumes associated with goblins, zombies, ghosts, and witches was perpetuated. It was also popularly believed that the boundary between our world and the spiritual world became unusually thin, thus enabling communication between the living and the dead. The Celts were commonly known as being polytheistic, the belief in worshiping more than one God, in multiple deities, and it is for this reason that there are a myriad of early pagan holidays and ritualistic ceremonies.
Moving forth to the 7th century CE, Pope Boniface came through with the creation of All Saints Day, a religious Christian holiday to be celebrated originally on May 13th, but which was later passed on to November 1st via Pope Gregory the 3rd (maybe referencing to the holiday of Samhain). The day before All Saint's Day, October 31st, was the day in which the evening mass was held: All Hallows Eve - Hallow meaning “holy” or “saint” (as a noun). Despite its pagan inception, Pope Gregory the 4th officiallyized the celebration of All Saint’s Day in the universal Christian Calendar a century after Pope Gregory the 3rd changed the holiday from May 13th to November 1st. Furthermore, the only remnants of the Celtic communities at the origin of Samhain are numbered artifacts, not any written records.
The origins of the holiday, though very limited in its artifacts and having almost no written records, were first reported in the Celtic regions in Ireland, where it quickly spread to the countries of France and the United Kingdom shortly after. Irish immigrants fleeing after the events of the potato famine were custodians for the spread of Halloween in the 19th century and later in the 1800s, fall festivals in Southern colonies in the United States enjoyed the seasonal harvest that embodied Halloween traditions.
As of the 21st century, Halloween is a global phenomenon and a universally celebrated holiday. By the conventions of the ancient pagan colonies, perpetuated through religious and then cultural communities and ideologies, its traditions live vicariously through us, believers, and celebrators.
By: A. Bonde
Halloween is very prevalent in the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. It is said to have its roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain. However, the celebration has become widely influential, and different cultures have embraced and modified it in distinctive ways.
In Ireland, Halloween is a celebration that signals the conclusion of harvest season and the start of winter. The night of October 31st was thought to have caused a blurring of the lines separating the living and the dead, allowing ghosts to roam freely. People dressed up and built bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Similar Celtic customs blended over ages with Christian and Roman influences in the United Kingdom to produce celebrations like apple bobbing, a divination(supernatural) game connected to the Roman cult of Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees. The origins of trick-or-treating can be traced back to a British and Irish custom known as "souling," in which the poor would go door-to-door and perform songs for the dead in return for food or cash. These practices changed and spread to North America, where they turned into the modern Halloween traditions that are followed and beloved until this day.
Día de Los Muertos, a celebration that occurs in Mexico, can be considered a variation of Halloween where they honour the goddess Mictecacihuatl, also known as the Lady of the Dead, by ancient Mesoamerican societies including the Aztecs, and Toltecs. The celebrations were later modified and entwined with Catholicism following the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century. The event now falls on All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Families prepare altars known as ofrendas for Día de Los Muertos, embellished with pictures, candles, calaveras de azúcar(sugar skulls), and souvenirs of the deceased. The idea is to greet the departed souls returning to this life so they can partake in the celebration and honour their lives. In addition to cleaning and decorating their loved ones' graves, families frequently have picnics at the gravesite where they exchange laughs, memories, and occasionally even musical selections.
Halloween in the Philippines is a unique fusion of deeply rooted local rituals and Western influences, much like in Mexico. One important feature is the custom of "Undas" or "Arawngmga Patay" (Day of the Dead), when families go to graves to honour their deceased loved ones. This custom typically entails lighting candles, decorating, and cleaning the graves, and presenting flowers and prayers. Families get together to reconnect with previous generations by reminiscing and sharing memories about their loved ones. Furthermore, cities, especially in shopping centers and business districts, welcome commercialized, Westernized Halloween. Similar to Western cultures, costume parties and trick-or-treating are popular among kids and offer a joyful and lively experience. These practices honour both traditional and modern Halloween celebrations, representing the diverse cultural background of the Philippines.
In conclusion, Halloween has grown beyond the US, Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Trick-or-treating and costume parties are celebrated worldwide, where each culture adds its own flair to the tradition. Mexico honours the fallen through the colourful Día de Los Muertos, while Ireland and the UK keep traditional practices like bonfires and apple bobbing. Inspired by native and Western influences, the Philippines blends tradition and commercial Halloween activities. These different versions reflect Halloween's cultural depth and flexibility worldwide, making it a beloved holiday to all.
By: A. Bonde
By: J. Pastore
Manioca por Helena Rizzo:
Besides her notorious restaurant “Mani”, another of the chef’s gems is Manioca. The restaurant promises an enticing journey through Brazil’s rich flavors and culinary artistry. Located on the top level of shopping Iguatemi, the restaurants inviting ambience and service complements to the enchanting experience of the restaurant itself, and with each dish comes an elusive blend of locally sourced ingredients with the intention of embracing Rizzo’s Brazilian roots. Whether you are looking for a spot to eat after/during work or for a Sunday family lunch, I’d always recommend Manioca as a first option for every occasion. Make sure you try the fries while you’re at it, they will not disappoint!
Tasca do Zé e da Maria:
This restaurant is truly a culinary revelation. It’s a small restaurant with a large variety of amazing dishes. Don’t let its location fool you. From an enriching ‘bacalhau’ to a diverse display of ‘salgadinhos fritos’(a must have for all Brazilians), ‘Tasca do Zé e Maria’ captures the essence of Brazilian and Portuguese culinary and culture within the São Paulo dining scene. The restaurant’s warm atmosphere is unmatched, and it's definitely the best recommendation for all your late family Sunday lunches – speaking from experience.
For all vegetarian readers, this place is for you (and for everyone!). Hidden within the hub of Vila Nova Conceição, ‘Caracolla’ dominates the cozy elegant aesthetic tucked away from the São Paulo hustle. It’s a recent finding of mine, but from all the visits since then, I consider it one of my go to. A dish that already keeps its place in my heart is the divine carrot hummus. Think of a staple piece that pairs with everything, and then reduce this thought to that of a carrot hummus. Besides the hummus, take a chance with the vegetarian pesto spaghetti. You won’t regret it. Truly a gastronomic adventure with all the flavors that each dish offers, Patricia Helu really knotted the dining experience in an innovative approach.
With the rising restaurant scene in pinheiros, Ella fitz is no exception from this growth. The restaurant encompasses the world of jazz – Ella Fitzgerald being the restaurant’s inspiration - with the world of culinary, nurturing a blend of art and flavor. Each dish is an experience you delve in, flawlessly presented and constructed. The restaurant takes on an kind of industrialized look and approach, very much New York inspired, which adds on to its creativeness and modern ambience. The Lasanheta de Vitelo, the house’s most sold item on the menu, does not disappoint. If you are looking for a restaurant that embraces a vintage charm, which also takes into account a modern and sophisticated look, this is definitely the place for you.
Her sixth restaurant and counting, Miado, is Renata Vanzetto’s most recent addition to her list of illustrious establishments. With an appeal to Asian food, Miado embraces both an oriental and Brazilian culinary style. I’d say its best to go with a partner or a group of friends since it encompasses a more youthful crowd. There’s a lot of favorites on the menu to choose from, but best to stay close to the bao buns and the crispy rice. Consider going to Miado on a brisk Friday night to immerse yourself in a world of modernity and gastronomic delight, always paired with impeccable service.