Most people don't think of warm, sunny, Honolulu, Hawaii, when they think of pumpkins or Halloween, which, in my mind is a travesty. We actually do grow pumpkins here. Really! This time of year, one can cruise the island and grab a plump pumpkin from a variety of pumpkin patches. 



And we actually do celebrate Halloween here, and we celebrate it big time in Waikiki. Walking along either side of Ala Moana Boulevard as it courses through the heart of Waikiki, one can observe and even have their photo taken with literally thousands of costumed party-goers. Last year, I had mine taken with President and Mrs. Obama. Well, it looked like them, anyway. 


The big question, however, is why we grow pumpkins and celebrate Halloween. It's not a part of Polynesian culture, as far as I know. So it must be out of deference to our other cultural heritages. Are we celebrating the first day of the three-day Allhallowtide, when Celtic/Gaelic tradition says the veil between the living and dead is at its thinnest? Or All Saint's Day, when Christian tradition dictates we remember the saints and martyrs? Or are we celebrating Samhain, the midpoint between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, when preparations were made for the coming winter and costumes were worn to disguise oneself from the spirits briefly revisiting our world? Or are we recalling the Mother Goddess of the most ancient religion and her modern counterpart, Wicca, with its witches and warlocks? Or maybe its just another excuse for partying hearty? I personally like Halloween because it's the smorgasbord of holidays -- one can celebrate it in innumerable ways. I suspect this holiday will be with us forever, even if it's not an officially recognized government holiday for this very reason. Strength in diversity as they say. 


Daniel S. Janik

Multi-award-winning author of

     UNLOCK THE GENIUS WITHIN (Rowman and Littlefield 2009)

          Available from Amazon.com or the Publisher's Store (at 10% off Suggested Retail Price)

     A WHALE'S TALE (Savant 2009)

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     THE TURTLE DANCES (Savant 2013)

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