Christians-dealing with Halloween?

(115 Posts)
poshme Thu 24-Oct-13 16:51:34

Just wondering what other people do- I'm not very happy anout my DCs doing Halloween activities- school topic/ school disco/ cubs all currently focussing on Halloween.
I've said no to school disco, and told cubs DS won't be there & my DCs are upset they're missing out.
I don't agree with trick or treating so we don't do that.
Just wondering how other people deal with it.

SamPull - The Jewish/Christian/Islamic God is the same guy.

MrsHowardRoark Thu 24-Oct-13 17:36:22

Ermmmm as Joyful and Ona have said isn't it a Christian thing, albeit appropriated from other cultures?

All Hallows' eve is about remembering the dead before all saints day. It isn't satanic confused

Bunbaker Thu 24-Oct-13 17:37:17

"The thing is its not ALL Christians who don't agree with Halloween. My dcs are at a Catholic school and the school themselves organise Halloween activities/disco etc. They just view it as a bit of harmless fun."

"It's never occurred to me to be morally outraged by Halloween. At best it fake."

I agree with the above comments. We even went trick or treating with the vicar's wife and kids one year. I am a Christian and don't take Halloween seriously. I view it as harmless fun not devil worship. If you demonise it your children will be made to feel left out and when they are older will make a point of going trick or treating just to make a point.

poshme Thu 24-Oct-13 17:39:11

Thanks for all your input (except bunnylebowski- not very constructive!)
I know that All Hallows' eve has Christian basis.
I would love our church to be doing a light party but sadly they're not.
I'm CofE. I just feel that Halloween is celebrating evil in a way- I can't fully explain it, but I'm just uncomfortable with it. I know that God is bigger than all of it, and it doesn't threaten me- I just don't like the idea of my kids dressing up like witches.
We don't celebrate other religions' festivals- I'm more than happy for my children to learn about other religions & festivals but not for them to celebrate them.

HangingGardenOfBabbysBum Thu 24-Oct-13 17:39:40

agnu Ah. How ignorant of me, I hadn't appreciated the Satanic undertones. I thought it was about the dead and witches. Scary but not evil IYSWIM.

Thank you. grin

Shockingundercrackers Thu 24-Oct-13 17:40:24

Another catholic vouching for all hallow's eve here. It was traditionally a festival to celebrate the idea that souls roamed the earth before all
Saint's day wasn't it? Nothing to do with devil worship. It's just a bit of fun.

Mind you, we always had fireworks at Guy Fawkes night too and no harm done there either.

AnyHardFacedCareerBitchFucker Thu 24-Oct-13 17:41:16

We do not have anything to do wtih the commercial observation of Hallowe'en and neither does our church (fairly middle of the road CofE). Our vicar is particularly opposed to Hallowe'en which he views as an occultish celebration far removed from the original celebration for the souls of the departed dead. While neither DH or myself feel strongly one way or another, most of our friends are from church so it would be fairly pointless in us doing anything as we wouldn't have any guests ! If DH is at home for hallowe'en I will probably do something for us but it will be quite tame and more of a Christian "thing" than scary hands and witches. I will be going to FILs grave to lay flowers.

We do, however, celebrate All Soul's Day and at church we have a big bonfire party for the children instead.

I ignore it basically. I told the DC that it was a pointless waste of time very early on and thankfully they were small enough to be a bit scare of ghost and other made up crap and decided that they didn't want anything to do with it.

I really don't see the point of it. It is a lot of kefuffle just to go knocking on doors asking for stuff. People keep using the term 'celebrating' but celebrating what? Remembering the dead on All Hallows Day is one thing but the eve of that day is for what exactly?

Bunbaker Thu 24-Oct-13 17:48:17

Now, I don't see Halloween as celebrating evil. If I did I wouldn't allow DD to take part either. In the pagan calendar 31 October is known as Samhain, a day when the dead returned to the earth. During Celtic celebrations of Samhain, many people wore disguises to ward off evil spirits, so how can you call that celebrating evil?

This website makes for interesting reading

poshme Thu 24-Oct-13 17:51:40

Thanks bunbaker- interesting website.

SamPull Thu 24-Oct-13 17:55:36

HuglessDouglas I didn't think it was a truth universally acknowledged that all three Abrahamic faiths think they worship the same God?

This, from wiki:

Islam teaches that God is the same god worshipped by the members of other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity and Judaism. This is not universally accepted by non-Muslims, as Islam denies the divinity of Jesus Christ as a son of God, Islam views that God does not have any offsprings or descendants, he created all things including prophets such as Jesus Christ. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Abrahamic_religions

poshme We don't celebrate any festivals as religious, but we do a good old fashioned mid-winter celebration that we call Christmas smile Surely your kids ask about other festivals though - they must get mentioned at school?

Coupon Thu 24-Oct-13 17:56:20

So what would an All Souls Day celebration look like?

Fugacity Thu 24-Oct-13 17:58:05

We pretty much ignore Hallowe'en. I do get in sweets should we get any trick or treaters, but we don't exactly welcome them, so don't get many. I do give them a Christian message along with their treat.

I wouldn't object to T or T if it were done the American way! which is wholesome and a community event. Here, the "youths" really don't want a fun-size Milky Way - they want to egg your house.

My kids have never been exposed to Hallowe'en at school.

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 18:04:32

Catholics - not sure about the other christian stuff as not sure how they fair on the saint side of things - or if they have them

there is no church diktat to not celebrate halloween - which actually means the eve of all hallows - the eve of all saints day in other words

now, trick or treating would, i suggest be an american bastardisation of soul cakes which were made in the middle ages as alms or put out as an offering for the dead. on all saints day the kids would then go door to door.

so all this christian fundementalist bullshit about it being evil is bollocks. in fact i think i read somewhere that dressing up was to pay homage to the dead and to remember them

of course this has all been highly americanised and commercialised. but if as a catholic you participate in this whilst remembering the dead and to pray for them then its all good. imo

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 18:05:52

so in answer to those people who say what shall i tell my kids about their friends not being allowed round - you should say

"their parents are misinformed about the meaning of halloween"

Pinkspottyegg Thu 24-Oct-13 18:06:16

In Scotland we do guising as I hate this adopted Anericanism of trick or treating. Kids have to do a turn (song, joke whatever) before they get anything. It's an ancient pagan harvest type festival that's been commercialised too much but I still love it. Love seeing the kids dressed up and the excitement of it all. Better than Xmas

specialsubject Thu 24-Oct-13 18:08:26

with you on trick or treating (begging), but otherwise - are you worried they will become pagans?

making kids feel different due to YOUR religion does not end well. Take it from one who knows.

Spidermama Thu 24-Oct-13 18:08:38

I don't see it as celebrating dark stuff so much as exploring it. We all have fears and Halloween is about exploring them and it comes at a time of year when the nights are drawing in and there's a certain vibe just before we all become more insular over winter.

I live trick or treating as lots of our neighbours make a big effort and the kids know only to go to the houses with pumpkins so no one gets bothered.

The only thing I don't like is the quantities of sweets involves.

I used to be all arsey and 'its-an--American-import' about Halloween but now I love it because the kids own it. They've made it what it is and forced grumpy grown ups to join in.
I also look to the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico at this time if year. It's about feeling closer to those who've passed. It's gory and the dressing up is spectacular. It's largely a Catholic country but allows the Aztec influence to come through. I think it's very healthy.,

Shallishanti Thu 24-Oct-13 18:17:12

wow, have you read the whole article on that link?
'hell house evangelism' wtf?
I think Spidermama has it right- done properly Hallowoween can be creative, neighbourly fun, I quite regret that the dcs are now too old!

OP
I know of a Christian family who celebrate "little Christmas" instead of Halloween It's becomea family custom and a bit of a joke for them! On 31st October they put up some Christmas decs, play Christmas carols and give a token Christmas present! If any Trick or Treaters arrive they offer them sweets and wish them "Happy Christmas" which confuses the poor Trick n Treaters somewhat but the family really enjoy the joke! Could you have a "mini-Christmas evening" instead? Bake some Christmas biscuits, give your dc a small present each and song "Away in a Manger" to any Trick n Treaters?

sampull I'm not sure how widespread the knowledge the shared Abrahamic god is, but just because people aren't taught about the shared God of the Abrahamic religions doesn't make it not the case. By that same token you could argue that Christians might not want to accept that Jews and Christians share the same God, as Jews don't acknowledge the divinity of Jesus either.

TheIggorcist Thu 24-Oct-13 20:09:05

I don't get the joke of pretending it's Christmas when it's not confused. But, if it works for them!

mawbroon Thu 24-Oct-13 20:43:08

When I went to Sunday school (Church of Scotland) in the late 70s and 80s, we were given a big turnip each the Sunday before Hallowe'en to carve into a lantern to bring to the Sunday School Hallowe'en party the following week.

DioneTheDiabolist Thu 24-Oct-13 21:09:16

My granny was very Catholic and took All Hallows Eve quite seriously. It was about souls, not evil.

bsc Thu 24-Oct-13 21:22:23

I find it interesting that a country with one of the largest proportions of believers in their population (USA) celebrate Hallowe'en.

I was raised not to celebrate it, as it was seen as glorifying the occult. I am atheist now, but we do not celebrate, or indeed even mention Hallowe'en in our family. DH also finds it uncomfortable, though he was not raised christian.

My children know there are things we do as a family that others don't and things we don't do as a family that others do (IYSWIM). They've never questioned me about Hallowe'en, though they know about it from nursery and school (though their school also does not promote it, as many children are from families of faith, most not christian).

I am pleased to say we have never had any trouble on Hallowe'en smile

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