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To think Halloween is harmless?

(127 Posts)
lavenderbongo Fri 26-Oct-12 21:49:47

So I am planning a halloween party for the kids and their parents. I intend to do all the usual games, wrap the mummy, apple bobbing, eating donuts off string. Just the normal kiddy stuff in an attempt to avoid annoying the nieghbours by doing trick or treating.
I was chatting to a colleague at work as she commented on my painted black nails and told her I was going to dress up as a witch and have a party for the kids. At this point she looked very cross and demanded "Do you know the origin on Bonfires?" I said isnt it to do with Guy Fawkes. Well no apprently it is from burning bones of little children and devil worship. Halloween is apparently a terrible festival that encourages devil worship and she would have never let her daughters dress up as little devils. (my youngest looks very cute in her little horns!)
So suitably chastised I looked up all this on the web. Bonfires were called bonefire but it was cattle bones not kids! Surely its about time we just thought of halloween as a time for a bit of fun and an opportunity to dress up? I think she is making a lot of fuss about nothing and buying into an old tradition based on superstition and beliefs that are no longer relevant. What do you think?

WorraLiberty Fri 26-Oct-12 21:51:25

It's a Pagan festival.

Having a Halloween party is fun and harmless

Your colleague is bonkers

HTH

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Fri 26-Oct-12 21:53:22

I was very surprised when the local vicars wife boycotted the Mother & Group Halloween Party because Halloween is 'unchristian' and she disagreed with it. She obviously thought along the same lines as your colleague confused

(yanbu)

ChaoticismyLife Fri 26-Oct-12 21:54:32

What Worra said.

Ithinkitsjustme Fri 26-Oct-12 21:56:11

I think that having a Halloween party is harmless, I also believe that trick or treating is one of the scourges of our age grin, seriously I hate it. Little kids in devils costumes/ mummies or whatever, suitably supervised are fine, but teenagers terrorising elderly (and not so elderly) people must be stopped. Where I used to live, gangs would go round baging on doors and if they weren't given enough money would push lighted fireworks through the letterboxes. That's not harmless.

tigerdriverII Fri 26-Oct-12 21:57:19

I think it's unChristian. I am v liberal not v religious etc etc but I totally get why anyone is offended by it and personally don't entertain celebrating it. But happily we are going to be away on the day so I can cheerfully avoid the reasons why I don't like Halloween or trick'n'treating which I don't like for other reasons entirely

WorraLiberty Fri 26-Oct-12 21:58:03

Where I used to live, gangs would go round baging on doors and if they weren't given enough money would push lighted fireworks through the letterboxes. That's not harmless

Fair point but that's something for the police and local council to get to grips with

If they behave that way on Halloween, they'll behave that way all year.

crackcrackcrak Fri 26-Oct-12 22:01:30

I shamelessly enjoy various religious festivals despite being a total atheist. I love Xmas and Halloween but being a midlander Diwali is v close to heart too grin

One of the local primary schools banned Halloween a few years back. I can see their point in a way but they didn't ban Xmas! It's all or nothing IMO.

Fwiw I despair at trick or treat but I went to a Halloween party today which dd1 loved and next week we're going on a spooky train ride - can't wait!

fuzzpig Fri 26-Oct-12 22:02:09

We are lucky that round here there are no trick or treaters except the neighbour's son. It is a very quiet/boring area.

We are just going to carve a pumpkin and watch a child-friendly 'scary' DVD.

And then once the DCs are in bed we will scoff all the sweets that we buy every year just in case we suddenly get loads of trick or treaters grin

MarianForrester Fri 26-Oct-12 22:07:15

YANBU. Hate all this joyless crap.

< trick or treating excepted >

I thought the origins were actually a mix of Christian (all Souls Day) and the Pagan end off summer - like Christmas actually "over-writing" pre-existing mid winter festivals plus a chance for a huge amount of consumer spending, and Easter being a date on the Christian calendar which happily co-incides with the Pagan Oester and a good opportunity to sell loads of chocolate and cards and fluffy chick cake decorations... So kind of Christian and Pagan mix, with a huge added bucket of commercialism... like most Christian festivals in the form they are celebrated by most of us actually are at root grin

and I think its harmless too btw - some people take themselves rather too seriously (ducks) - of course it can be twisted by horror film writers etc. but so can many things...

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 26-Oct-12 22:15:31

Dd and I were at a Halloween party today at toddler group. The party (and group) is held in and funded by the church..

Obviously views differ...

PoppyScarer Fri 26-Oct-12 22:22:04

I think Hallowe'en (sorry am a pedant about the apostrophe) in its modern form is fine. I loved apple-bobbing as a kid. No harm in dressing up a toddler, and even a spot of trick-or-treating when Pre-agreed with non-elderly neighbours.

I do have a problem with Day of the Dead being shoved down my DCs' throats by Handy Manny on the Disney Junior channel. I'm all for cultural understanding, but my DD doesn't yet understand the concept of death (she is 4yo) and I do not want to have to "go there" yet, thanks!

lavenderbongo Fri 26-Oct-12 22:26:41

Thanks for all the viewpoints smile The EnglishWoman you have made the points I wanted to make beautifully. It is like all the other festivals descended from early pagan/christian roots.

Those of you who don't like Halloween could you explain why. Most of what I have been able to find says that it essentially from pagan festival roots and mostly to do with the hanging of the seasons.

I agree with those of you who dont like trick or treating - I hate this as well.

crackcrackcrak Fri 26-Oct-12 22:38:27

Poppy - handy manny......what???

lavenderbongo Fri 26-Oct-12 22:45:14

Is that the Mexican festival Poppy?

LST Fri 26-Oct-12 22:47:57

Each their own. But I have never been trick or treating, my dc will never go and I don't answer the door in Halloween.

PoppyScarer Fri 26-Oct-12 22:52:09

Yes, Dia de los Muerte, Day of the Dead, the Mexican festival. As I said I really am all for learning about other cultures, but Day of the Dead at bedtime, alking about deaangrily members, people we love WHO ARE DEAD...no thanks, Disney!

(am not a fan of Disney Junior in general, but DD insists, changes channel back)

Hallowe'en has the same roots, obviously, but is very harmless in its modern form!

PoppyScarer Fri 26-Oct-12 22:53:04

deaangrily = dead family. iPad.

moajab Fri 26-Oct-12 23:26:19

I like Halloween. Yes it has pagan origins, but so do most Christian festivals. There may be some elements, to do with the dead which may be hard for children to understand. But personally I always found the Easter story far harder to go into with young children!

I don't like trick or treating, mainly because I get so cold and the kids scoff all the sweets! I think it's ok if you just visit those who look like they'll welcome it - houses with lots of decorations up. But I do prefer parties and will be having one this year.

The dressing up as devils and monsters is nothing to do with worshiping the devil - it's the opposite. Because of the superstition that on halloween the boundry between this world and the next might be thin and spirits might come back - some of them nasty ones. So people disguised themselves, so the bad spirits would get confused and leave them alone!

giraffesCantGoGuisingAsZebras Fri 26-Oct-12 23:27:54

I love Halloween - but I call it dooking for apples and guising. I am having a party too! grin

inkyfingers Fri 26-Oct-12 23:39:09

Hallowe'en gets its negative history because its All Hallows' Eve, the day before a Christian All saints Day. And I think celebrated by those against Christian things. Look up on wiki, it's late for me! I don't personally like anything to do with Halloween for that reason and it seems the tackiest pointless ugliest thing to 'celebrate'. But have never spoilt anyone's fun as far as I know, so feel free.

Bigwheel Fri 26-Oct-12 23:50:06

I love Halloween, most people here go trick or treating. Ds (5) has had a Halloween dsco at school and dd(2) has just been to a Halloween party held in our Local church where they were all dressed up. Lots of local attractions ate giving away free food / drink / prizes this half term if the kids dress up. Yabnu, it's just a bit of fun nowadays and I think people over think it.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Fri 26-Oct-12 23:52:17

We do not celebrate Hallowe'en because of our religious beliefs. If someone asked me I would tell them why but I wouldn't lecture someone else on what they decide to do, how rude shock

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