Besides the costumes and yummy candy, through some research found out that Halloween is the celebration of the transition from the blissful harvest season to the dark cold winter (usually associated with death). It was believed that the veil between the world of the living and that of the death became blurred so the spirits could mingle with us… Hmmm, okay.
The dead could mingle with the living
Halloween is not a recognized holiday in Nigeria. Why?
We only have wet and dry season. Nothing exciting to celebrate is there? Haha!
Another reason is probably cause a lot of us Nigerians do believe in the existence of ghosts and spirits sooo you get my point? We’d most likely lock up our doors, bathe ourselves and our houses with holy water, anoint ourselves (and our house) with holy oil and do an all night vigil hoping to scare away any spirits… Haha, I’m exaggerating or am I?
So no one goes trick-or-treating or costume parties and all those stuff. It just doesn’t happen
On the other hand, we do have popular folklores that are a huge part of the culture like:
Lady Koi Koi: She’s a spirit know to make sounds with her signature red heels at night. So the next time you hear “koi, koi, koi, koi” you know who’s lurking around the corner…
Mami Wata: What we Nigerians call mermaids. They are characterized as having long hair and a snake companion (that symbolizes divinity) that wraps itself around her body and rests between her breast. They usually disguise themselves as humans when they’re really not… Real scary stuff right?
Babalawo– a Yoruba term meaning “Father of mysticism”. They are very popular in Nigerian culture especially in movies. He (or sometimes she) serves as the oracle of the gods in a village or small town. They can tell visions, solve problems, create problems, predict dreams and all those interesting stuff.
Ojuju Calabar– He or she (we don’t know since he/she is always masked) is a spirit who torments little kids (especially those who have been misbehaving)… I would say the amount of times someone told me “Ojuju Calabar will catch you” when I was young was so much it sounded like a broken record now that I think about it. Surprisingly, it worked really well… They had different looks but I remember I thought they looked like this
The girl who always had a different hairstyle each day: Ok I don’t know what her name was but the story goes like this. There was a girl or shall I say spirit who always had a different hairstyle each day and how did she do this? Basically, she would sit in front of a mirror, unscrew her head from her neck, place it on her lap, style/braid/weave it then screw it back in place. Dang, that’s just too creepy.
So those are just some of the many folklores out there. I call them myths but who knows if they really exist… Just maybe. Ok, enough of the creepiness!
You could also watch this video where I share my personal experiences on Halloween…