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Callilope: Nigerians ‘Be Like’ – “Let’s Celebrate Halloween, Black Friday & Thanksgiving”



What is the connection between Halloween, Friday the 13th and Black Friday?
Should I tell you what all of these things have in common (let’s pretend you don’t know)?

Well, they aren’t in any way connected to Nigerian holidays or superstitions; but guess what, Nigerians celebrate them all the same. So the main question is why?
‘Been Tos’ another name for those who have travelled abroad, irrespective of how long, could be for 6 months or 6 weeks course abroad, or to visit their cousin’s neighbour best friend for 2 days in SAwould come back to Nigeria not only with a brand new accent, but with oyinbo ‘celebrations.’

Seeing that some of us don’t understand the concept of these things, I will be very kind as to explain.

Halloween. according to, is a holiday celebrated every year on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening, also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

How all this grammar concern us? Yet, some of our brethren join in the celebrations.
Halloween parties are now held in Nigeria – which is not bad in its entirety; but it’ll do us good to infuse our Nigerianness in the celebrations. Instead of getting a Superman costume or going online and spending exorbitantly on a superhero costume, buy 7 yards of red material from your nearest market, go to the beach pick up sea shells,(if you don’t find, which I doubt) go to Isale Eko, buy cowries stick them in your hair. Borrow or buy eyeliner, apply them on your eyes, pick a stick on your way to the Halloween party and guess what? You will be the cynosure of all eyes as you will be dressed as the revered Yoruba god of thunder Sango. See how easily your Nigerian costume blended into the Halloween spirit?

Friday the 13th
I recently saw a post of a Nigerian that read, “omg I can’t believe today is Friday the 13th” and it got me thinking. What meaning does Friday the 13th hold for the average Nigerian?

Many believe Friday the 13th is the unluckiest day of the year and there are many superstitions and myths surrounding the day in the western world. In Nigeria we have plenty superstitions, off the top of my head these 3 stand out:

1) You hit your last toe against a surface (something bad will happen)
2) You have strand/strands of grey hair when young (this you being rich in future)
3) You have itchy palms? (Don’t worry money is coming your way)
But Friday the 13th? The whole nonsense with Jason and Freddy? Haba! Like we don’t have ‘serious’ superstitions to focus on.

Black Friday
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it’s one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States – falling anywhere between November 23 and 29. While it’s not recognized as an official US holiday, many employees have the day off – except those working in retail.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit.

All of a sudden we Nigerians started the Black Friday ritual without celebrating Thanksgiving. Online stores go wild, some even try to give it a more Nigerian feeling by changing the name from Black Friday sales to ‘yakata’. Very soon we’ll soon join the Americans to celebrate 4th of July – even though we do not know what it means.

All I’m saying is before we become United States of America (Nigerian branch) let’s all not just do follow follow and copy the western culture blindly.
Let’s infuse a little bit of Nigerian in it or not copy at all. No be by force.

Meanwhile, I’m off to the online stores to participate in the black market sales. If you can’t beat them, at least benefit from them.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Monkey Business Images