The Celebration of Neewollah

Both children and adults in the Nacirema culture look forward to many celebrations throughout the year, but many particularly enjoy Neewollah. As a member of the Nacirema society for quite some time, I have experienced this celebration first hand for several years both as a child and as an adult. On this last day of October, children dress up as witches, ghosts, monsters, or other things to hide their true identity. Some children may wear these disguises to their learning institutions and receive treats from other students and their instructor.

After they return to their homes, the children wait until the sun has gone down and then once again put on their disguises. Children then go around with bags to other members of the tribe to collect toys and treats. Children may only approach a hut if there is a small light or some other indication that the dwellers have treats. Children ring a bell or knock on the large wooden plank concealing the entrance to the home. The owner of the home answers and the children all yell “Kcirt Ro Taert!” The owner then remarks on all of the childrens’s disguises and drops the toys and treats into the childrens’s bags. The homes of the tribe are decorated in orange and black and often have snretnalokcaj and other scary decorations such as tombstones and witches.

After their bags are full, children take their treats to be inspected by their caregivers. Once the treats have been deemed safe for consumption, children may take their treats an eat them.

Adults also look forward to the celebration of Neewollah. Adults may also disguise themselves, but rather than collecting treats for themselves, they gather in large groups to eat and dance. Some of the younger adults in the tribe may pretend to be older children so that they may also receive candy from the elder members of the tribe.

Neewollah occurs once every year, and both children and adults of the Nacirema society look forward to the celebration all year.

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