Growing up in Trinidad we didn’t celebrate halloween. We did celebrate All Saint’s Day (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2). One was for Catholics and one was for Anglicans, but since my family is made up of both, I never remember which one goes with which religion. The belief is that the dearly departed come back for a brief visit on this night.
For the living, it’s an opportunity to remember those who have passed on, and families go to cemeteries to clean up grave sites and put down flowers and light candles and such. It was a ton of fun for me and my cousins because we’d run from grave to grave collecting the drippings off the candles to make wax balls, and whoever had the biggest ball at the end, won.
I was damn good at that game, and didn’t mind getting burned by super hot wax to get maximum drippings for my ball.
At the end of the night, after the grownups had chatted and drank their rum, and poured some over the graves, and cleaned up the sites and put down their flowers, and the kids had giant wax balls the size of grown men’s fists, we’d all head back home. Dirty wax balls, memories of loved ones past, tipsy (or drunk) grownups and exhausted kids all piled in the car having had an odd and somewhat mystical reunion with generations of family, present, and ghostly.
To my relatives and friends past: enjoy your night out.
I miss you all.