Monday, October 29, 2012

Why not celebrate Halloween?

It's one of my less favoured aspects of American life that we have adopted in Britain. Along with West Wing, House and muffins, Halloween has taken this country by storm. When I was a child it was a non-event but gradually it grew in popularity until today I should think it's one of the top 'holiday' revenue earners.

And I think that's regrettable.

As a parent I am appalled at a tradition that encourages children, on one night of the year, to practise what they'd be told off for doing at any other time: you give me something nice or I'll do something horrid to you. In the adult world isn't that known as extortion?

And as a human being I dislike the practice of celebrating evil. 
'Oh, it's only a harmless bit of fun.'
I know people who've had their lives ruined by ritual abuse; that wasn't a harmless bit of fun.

Anything that lessens evil by making it seem fun or attractive is a threat. Cigarette advertising is banned now; why? Because images of good-looking men and women lighting up and looking cool drew people into smoking, which is now known to be bad for you. 

Yet we seem to be happy to promote witchcraft. And, yes, I'm writing this as a Christian and I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I've never written about Halloween on my blog before I think because I was nervous about what reaction it would bring. So let's see.

16 comments:

CherryPie said...

I must admit I am not a fan of halloween either.

KTudor said...

Its not something that I was ever allowed to partake in as a kid and I am not sure when I have my own children I would let them go trick or treating. However, I do always make sure I have some sweets in as neighbours with small children come knocking.
My parents are currently in America and said that the Halloween preparations that they are seeing are nothing like what we see over here. There aren't skulls, skeletons and ghoully things everywhere. It is a much more family orientated event, not what they were expecting at all.

Liz said...

I'm glad i'm not alone, cherrypie.

Kerry, it's more and more difficult to stop your children wanting to join in when all the others are doing it. That's interesting about America. I wonder why we've gone a different route.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Liz I don't agree with it either, I also agree with KTudor, why do we have to have skulls and other things, we used to have apple ducking and sausages etc and made it a party with our neighbours when we were in the Raf ...it is not because I am a christen , it is just something that I would prefer not to celebrate .. if that is the right word.

Yep and my grandchildren now want to join in .. cannot be stopped though.

Leslie: said...

I grew up with it here and never thought about it as "evil witchcraft." It was always just a fun night when we got to dress up and get candy from the neighbours. As an adult, I learned more about the evil side of it but just prefer to ignore that aspect. Now I just hate being interrupted every 5 or 10 minutes with kids ringing the bell. I suggested we just keep the lights off and stay in the back room watching TV, but then I'd look bad, wouldn't I?

Gledwood said...

Hey I just wrote a comment on someone else's blog saying isn't halloween just a pagan celebration of howling demonic spirits of the undead... I'm glad someone agrees with me!

Suburbia said...

I don't like the commercialisation of Halloween at all. We have never made anything of it and I think its dangerous to let children out on the streets knocking on strangers doors.

However I like the idea of remembering those who are no longer with us on a special day, if that was what we can make out of it?

Gledwood said...

I've heard stories about evil old bastards "getting the children back" ~ as they would no doubt justify it to themselves ~ inserting razor blades into apples, poisoning the sweets and everything... you see a spirit of evil breeds evil and as you say it's all about selfishness in the form of childhood extortion. Most utterly despicable!

nick said...

I dislike the whole trick-or-treat idea as well. As you say it's just a minor form of extortion.

I also object to Halloweeners pestering households that aren't interested. It should be confined to the family and not foisted on indifferent strangers.

And as Suburbia says, it's also risky for children to knock on other people's doors.

Rose said...

I've never been a big fan of Halloween either, but I don't think kids think much about the significance of it. They just enjoy dressing up in costumes and getting candy. My grandchildren will probably stop by, and Grandma will load them up with candy which their parents will then hide so they don't get overdosed on sugar:)

Years ago, I think it was worse when children used Halloween as an excuse to pull pranks that bordered on vandalism. That's a part of Halloween I've definitely never liked.

Pearl said...

People who celebrate halloween should be put in the stocks.

Ole Phat Stu said...

Before answering the door, put on a soutane and a Jimmy savile wig. That should scare the little beggars away ;-)

jams o donnell said...

While Haloween has its roots in paganism (derived from Samhain) the popularity of the day in the US can be traced back to Irish immigrants who were hardly pagan themselves

Trubes said...

I would never let my girls do trick or treat, but did compromise and let them dressup and have a few like minded friends and their parents round for games etc, We would have a barbecue, sausages and baked potatoes were a favourite amongst the children. I used to make a stack of barbcued ribs and corn on the cob for the adults. We'd go indoors and tell spooky stories to round of the night.
My granchildren and parents are coming up from Surrey go to a fancy dress party in the famous Liverpool Palm House, they will be joined by their two little cousins and their parents. We are staying at home to prep the grub and make some mulled wine for when they return !
I don't open the door to trick n treaters....just turn the lights off and stay in the back of the house!

Di..xx

Furtheron said...

I'm no lover of it - and I'm no Christian as you know.

To be frank though I think taking kids to see Father Christmas at a shopping centre is another weird thing...

Halloween - we encourage our kids to be out in the dark to knock on strangers doors and accept sweets from them... Yep just think about the mixed message that gives. What will the parent do if their little child is late home tonight and says "I met so and so who'd house we went to last night, they invited me back to get more sweets"... I know I exagerate for effect but...

Father Christmas - it is ok for us to push our kids to a scary looking old man and for them to tell him what they want for Christmas and again to accept a gift from this stranger...

I just think they are such mixed messages if you did those things out of the "holiday" context.

We never celebrated Halloween with ours, we buy a bag of sweets for it in case the local kids come round, and normally end up eating most as like last night only one lot came to our door... maybe cos I'm known as a miserable old goat - see start of this comment for confirmation of that!

Liz said...

well, I expected more disagreement! My blog readers must all be sensible people! Thank you all.

I'm sure that very few of those who take part consider it evil - or probably even think about it - and certainly not the children.