Monday, September 25, 2006

I had an incident at work yesterday that disturbed me to the point that I came home and did some online research (what a thrilling life I lead, surfing the net on Sunday night).

A young girl, maybe 6 or 7 years old, came to the desk to ask a question. I answered it, then she looked around and said that "Mommy" was in the other section and asked if she could wait at the desk until her mom came back.

Somehow the conversation changed (like most kids, she could change topic mid-sentence without missing a beat) to Halloween. She asked me if I liked it. I said, sure! Halloween's fun! She stated that she "hated" Halloween because Halloween celebrates the devil. I was kind of surprised at this and replied that I didn't think so, and started to state my own opinion--

She talked right over me, repeating several times that Halloween celebrates the devil. I decided not to press it (or comment on her manners); for all I knew her family were Jehovas or members of some fundamentalist group and it's certainly not my job to teach her one way or the other.

But it was troubling that such a young child was "brainwashed", for lack of a better term, against a holiday that is, for the most part, harmless fun. Halloween has its roots in early pagan celebrations for the dead--just like, for example, the Day of the Dead in Mexico. It is also believed that the celebration was symbolic of the coming winter, when life "dies" in the dark and cold.

Does anyone see the devil there? Of course not. The devil is a Judeo-Christian concept, and there is no link between the two belief systems. Unfortunately some groups have taken the "dead" aspect of Halloween and run with it; changed it into "devil". Sounds to me like control issues and scare tactics.

It's too bad that some people, like the little girl I met yesterday, will not know the fun of dressing up and trick or treat.

Then again...

More candy for me!!!!!!!!!

1 Comment:

spy scribbler said...

Halloween is practically a Christian holiday, too. On November 1 is All Saint's Day, and Halloween is technically the "eve" of that date. The Catholic church picked up the idea of All Saint's Day from the pagans, and back then they celebrated holidays like the Jewish people: from sundown of the day before. (All Hallow's Eve or something.) Doesn't hallow mean holy?? How is that the devil's day??

I just love Halloween. I'm crazy about it. Last year, after Halloween we bought a bunch of decorations on sale, so the house is going to look great this year!

I did have a family that quit because I celebrate Halloween with my students (we just play Halloween songs and I give them candy and we play games) and because I had Harry Potter themed contests.

I don't know how someone could possibly turn it into the devil's day. My only understanding is that some people feel more holy if they're finding and putting down what they think is 'unholy' or something.

Leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.