I love Halloween. Besides Christmas (which is also my Nameday) and the whole Pascha season, it’s my favourite holiday. My friends all know this. I love the pageantry of it all. I love dressing up in costume, seeing all the little kids run around like sugar-crazed monkeys, and being able to decorate everything around the house. I love the movies and the T.V. shows (especially the kid-friendly ones).
I know that this is going to get me in trouble with someone out there, but what is up with this whole “Harvest Festival” thing? It seems like it’s a new fad with certain religious groups to have what they call a “Harvest Festival” rather than Halloween because they feel that Halloween is more pagan than a “Harvest Festival.” Somehow, I think I’m missing something. These festivals are celebrated on the same day, with kids dressing up in costumes, carnivals, parties, and the giving out of candy. Wait a minute…that sounds an awful lot like…duh duh duhhhhhhnnnnn…Halloween. I think my confusion on the need for this alternate title for the same holiday celebration stems from the fact that people are saying that it’s more Christian than Halloween, when, in fact, both are pagan in origin and Halloween actually has more to do with Christian history than any so-called harvest festival (most of which were used to thank pagan gods for the harvest that year and used as fertility rights before Christianity came along).
So, I thought I’d go into a little bit of Halloween history so that people can understand, from my perspective, why it is silly to be anxious about this stuff and come up with an alternate title for doing the same thing rather than simply talking to your child about why you don’t want them to follow certain behaviours on Halloween. As a result, I’m going to post up a series of blogs on the topic. I would love to get some discussion going, because I think that if something has been our tradition for over a millennia it’s a bit odd that we feel the need to change it now. Though people do seem more anxious today than they were even ten years ago and I know for a fact that the teenagers are more anxious about everything. So, every day for the next little while, we’re going to take a look at these things and I’m going to post what I know in hopes of people sharing their thoughts and sources they have for information. I know that for a few people at least, this will lead to research. So, happy researching, readers-mine. This should be fun. 🙂