We are about to celebrate Halloween, a party where children go out to ask for treats, many people dress up and horror movies and shows are fashionable. But where does this celebration come from? It derives from the celebration of the All Hallow’s Eve which translates as The Night of All Saints that presides over All Saints Day.

As it happens with several Christian holidays, these were instituted on days that ancient religions celebrated their holidays. Thus All Saints Day was superimposed on the day of Samhain celebrated by the Celts as the celebration of the harvest and the beginning of "the dark half of the year". It was believed that the border between this world and the next one becomes especially thin at this time of the year, which allowed us to connect with the dead. This led to the establishment of the Day of All the Dead or the faithful departed the next day.

Although there is little data, it is believed that in Samhain, people disguised themselves to protect themselves from spirits or ghosts, giving themselves the pleasure of eating treats and they made their pumpkin lamps (jack-o’-lantern).

However we can see that this celebration is not alone in the world. There is also the great celebration of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, where loved ones that have passed are remembered and death is played and mocked. There is Pangangaluluwa in the Philippines, where disguised children go from house to house asking for prayers for the souls in purgatory. There is also the Hungry Ghost Festival in Hong Kong where money and food is left to wandering souls at this time for their life in the hereafter. In Poland we find the Business Day where flowers, candles and prayers are offered for dead relatives. There is the Awuru Odo Festival in Nigeria where they celebrate with banquets, music and masks the return of the dead to our world for a few days. Just to mention a few.

We can see then how the human being through play, fun, music, food and party has the need to face the ultimate reality: death. We see how affirming life we ​​are able to face what our mind tries to avoid that it is to die and ultimately the fear of disappearing, to not be anymore.

The human being faces, throughout life, a series of existential questions. We know that we exist, that we live, but we do not know when we will stop living or even worse if we will cease to exist. We know that dying is inevitable, that we will all die someday, but it causes us more distress to think that we will then cease to exist. It is then that we begin to think about heavens, hells, reincarnations, an existence after this life.

It is normal to have a certain degree of fear of death, especially if a dangerous situation occurs, of violence, an accident or an illness. Another very different thing is tatanophobia or phobia of death itself. Someone who feels anxiety when thinking about death or facing related situations or activities, who has a need to control any type of pain, who worries permanently in relation to death, in addition to difficulties in thinking about other issues and is aware the irrationality of this fear may be experiencing a phobia of death.

As we saw above, the human being will face the fear of death reaffirming life. The more you reaffirm, enjoy, expand your life, the more satisfied you will feel and we would have to expect that the less fear you will have to die. Note that I say less fear because before the unknown, such as death, there will always be some reserve. No one knows for sure, if there is an existence after this life, but it is certain that you have this existence and this life, so the invitation is for you to live it to its fullest, in depth and enjoyment. If you are not doing it for any reason, look for a psychotherapeutic support that will help you expand your life and your joy.

Pablo Munoz