Friday, October 31, 2008

What’s next – are we going to start wishing people a “happy remembrance day” too?

From the moment I arrived at work I was greeted by people wishing me a ‘Happy Halloween’. I don’t think I have ever been wished a ‘happy halloween’ before and it startled me the first few times I heard it, but by the end of the day, it was grating on my last nerve. It took all my self-control not to go ballistic on the afternoon ‘well-wishers’.

I admit I let my children go trick ‘n’treating when they were young – it was one of the few times their father put his foot down firmly, so the kids had Halloween. Although, I did insist the children wear no demons, no spirits, witches or other evil doer type costumes and I made sure they understood as soon as their were old enough about the blatant paganism of this event.

If my co-workers were young people, I would just write it off as no big deal and blame the ignorance and inexperience of youth, but mostly they are all my middle aged age – and plus. So what gives? Halloween isn’t a national holiday, and serves no useful purpose except for marketers and children.


stageleft said...

.... the blatant paganism of this event?

You say that like it's a bad thing :-)

It behooves me to note three things Kateland

[1] Like Christians we prefer Pagan or Paganism... note the use of the upper case [P]

[2] Most Western and/or Christian events have their roots in Pagan tradition and practice... don't worry about it, we're glad to help out the newer religions

[3] The Halloween you know is based on Samhain (pronounced Sow-en, and which was properly celebrated on the 28th of this month btw) - it is a very important time of the year for us that bears absolutely no resemblance (now, or in antiquity) to what you have apparently been told by the church.

The explanations and answers are far to lengthy to to go into via a comment box, if you're interested in them, as opposed to the devil worshiping mumbo-jumbo the fundies like to spread around this time of the year, send me an email and we'll (virtually) talk.

Raphael Alexander said...

Kids love Haloween because they get to dress up in costume and walk around after dark. The whole "candy" aspect is kind of lame, but I don't think about the "pagan" aspects of the day any more than I do the Christian aspects of Christmas.

Perhaps as a Jew you have a more difficult time with paganist commercialized observances.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

Well, I suppose if I were to channel my ‘inner Jew’ I could come up with numerous objections of a religious nature. And there is always Purim which doesn’t bother me in the least.

Of course on Purim, you won’t find Jews costuming up as devils, demons or witches. I suspect my aversion lies more with hyping and the glamourization of evil entities in the 21st century.

stageleft said...

I don't think I could classify it as hyping or glamorization - it's entertainment.

A couple of observations:

- The number of demons and devils is quickly dropping around here, I cannot say that I saw a single one of either (child or adult) this Halloween. There were Frankenstein's, characters from The Matrix, and zombies, galore - but no demons or devils.

- Portraying witches as evil is a significant peeve of mine. I'm not sure how many witches you may actually know but not a single one that I associate with (and that number is in the multiple of dozens) is evil, or ugly for that matter.... it's like labeling all priests perverts because some of them are - is that fair?