Forward Philippines: Halloween Party 201214 November 2012
It’s that time of the year again where we so excitedly look for a Batman mask, Superman shirt, witch hat, angel wings or maybe even an Iron Man suit for that nocturnal gathering of people who so joyously try to emulate random characters or petrifying entities. It’s also that time of the year where parents magically try to conjure up an interesting costume for their child’s annual trick or treating frenzy. It’s Halloween! And of course, we won’t pass up on this celebration.
Seated in front of their monitor, coding, typing and designing, you could see the likes of Clark Kent, Waldo, Edward Cullen, a panda, the Scream and an indescribably multi-faceted Ninja grace Forward Solutions’ Philippines SEO team, web development team and web design team. But of course, Halloween wouldn’t be Halloween without that extra pinch of fright.
After half a day’s worth of work, these characters prepared to enter the Chamber of Horrors, which, during our ordinary days, we refer to as the conference room. Our Chamber of Horrors however, proved to be something more than the usual fright extravaganza. With more than enough food and several rounds of Pinoy Henyo, our afternoon of fright was gradually setting the mood for our movie watching event where we chose The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It was definitely a rattling movie which made some of us shriek and close our eyes. It surely transformed our day from those complex codes and designing to a relaxing one which, ironically, tensed up our hearts and bodies.
Fortunately, the awarding for best costume came after, loosening our tension-filled bodies. Erick, who was dressed as Waldo of Where’s Waldo, won the first place while Kath, who was dressed as a witch, won the second. It eventually made us wonder, how and why Halloween is celebrated.
It turns out that hundreds of years ago, before our attachments to technological devices ever took hold of us or before web developers or web designers wandered about the Earth, a barbaric tribe roamed around what is currently called Ireland, the U.K. and Northern France. This tribe, also known as the Celts, celebrated “Samhain” to welcome their New Year, which, interestingly, is two months prior our contemporary celebration. Their New Year marked the separation of summer and winter where during the eve of that day, they believed that ghouls, ghosts and the dead come back to not merely haunt and terrify their people, but also cause havoc by damaging crops and sparking unwanted trouble. To counteract and appease these spirits, they burned crops and animals, offering them as sacrifice to their dead. Their priests, who relied on these spirits for divination, take advantage of this spiritual surge to foretell the future while his people dress up as animals and waltz around imitating him. After hundreds of years, the sacrifice of crops and animals slowly morphed into our contemporary trick or treating which, during the Dark Ages, was initially food and wine left by the doorway. It was eventually modified and catholicized into “soul cakes” given to the poor citizens who would pray for the giver’s dead relatives. As for the animal costumes, after various cultural and periodic appropriations, these costumes were worn during Halloween to avoid the spiritual surge during this particular day. These traditions were eventually passed on from one generation to the next, one culture to another… until finally, it arrived on the doorstep of Forward Solutions.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!