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Halloween is commercial and unnecessary. Can’t we give it a rest?

Halloween is a post-Christian celebration which compels us to buy things which we don’t need. We should return to our Christian roots and throw All Saints parties instead.

By on Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Young boy dressed as a vampire for Halloween (Photo: PA)

Young boy dressed as a vampire for Halloween (Photo: PA)

So, what are you doing for Halloween?

I myself am doing absolutely nothing, but it is easy for me as I do not have any children. There are no little people in my house pestering me to take them out trick or treating, or to decorate the hallway with fake cobwebs, or to help them dress up as witches. For all of which I am profoundly grateful; and as for those parents who have to do all these things, you have my sympathy.

It is always risky to frown on something that other people enjoy and which seems of itself harmless. After all Halloween is hardly akin to liking gladiatorial contests or bear-baiting. Nevertheless, I am not a fan of Halloween.

In Italy, Halloween arrived, as it did here, from America, but some years later. Italians despise Halloween; they see it as an import from what they call “il mondo Anglo-sassone”, and thus foreign to their culture and damaging to it. Here too some purists might see children celebrating Halloween as a part of the continuing MacDonaldsisation of our culture, but this argument is not a particularly strong one with me. On the whole I would like Britain to be more like America; and many good things have come to us from the US and been absorbed by us, such as eating turkey at Christmas.

My real beef with Halloween is that it is commercial and unnecessary. We do not need yet another ersatz feast which compels us to buy things we do not need. We have had it up to here already with our commercialised Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so on. Can’t we give it all a rest, and allow our supermarkets to sell us things that we actually need? In fact my objection to Halloween is the same as my objection to Christmas as currently celebrated: the religious meaning has been lost under a tsunami of schmaltz. Just as at Christmas we need to celebrate the birth of Christ, at Halloween we need to celebrate the first Vespers of All Saints.

Halloween seems to me to be not a pagan celebration, but rather a post-Christian celebration. When you cut down the tree, all sorts of secondary growths spring up. Because we no longer celebrate Christian feasts, we still need something to celebrate, and thus we make do with Halloween.

It would be good to hold All Saints parties instead; or parties for All Souls, with a trip to visit the family graves. That would be beneficial fro children! And as for dressing up, what’s wrong with Carnival?

  • Patrickhowes

    Beware of the talons of the devil!As Catholics we follow the light and should never,ever participate in the ocult.Hedonism started as a bit of fun and now look at it!Paganism produces the Brevics and Himmlers of this world.We should not teach our children fear but instill in them that if God is for them,who can be against us?Have some crackpots not used the feast of halloween in the USA to commit horrific murders.It gives way to evil when really we should be celebrating that hopefully our realtives in heaven now enjoy the celestial vision.

  • GratefulCatholic

    Son of Arius – I rest my case.

  • Patrickhowes

    But not in its current context and exploied by americans to turn it into a business.Is it right to make our children slaves to gratification and materialism

  • whytheworldisending

    Is “Ancient” good? Of course not. What about the ancient Carthaginians and Aztec etc whose festivals included child sacrifice? Is everything Celtic good? Of course not.The words ancient and celtic have no power to sanitize suspect practices. Nor was everything that went on “at the time of Christ” good? Jesus told his disciples to let the children come to him and do not stop them. Teaching kids to assosciate evil with fun is one way to stop them. 

  • whytheworldisending

    There are many things that we should not be open to and that we need to protect our children against. Being open to everything is just dangerous nonsense.

  • Patrickhowes

    A tragedy has ocurred in Madrid at a Halloween festival where people were crushed to death.In an arena for 10,000,alomost a crowd of twenty thousand eager to celebrate a pagan festival,where drugs and out of control behaviour has resulted in the loss of life of three teenagers.Well done Halloween.The people making money out of the event were so keen on exploiting and packing it to capacity that they have robbed three teenage girls of their future.Does this not support the fact that the does of innocent fun are over and all people are interested in is making material gain out of people through the promise of gratification?Here is the link in the spanish newspapers
    http://www.abc.es/fotos-abc/20121101/tragica-avalancha-madrid-arena-109180.html

  • Patrickhowes

    Yes!We are supposed to imitate and celebrate saintliness and never witches,the occult and evil spirits

  • Patrickhowes

    If you “treat” yourself  to an air ticket and go to Mexico,you could live the proper celebration.People cretae altars in their home and photos of deceased member and go to the cemeteries and spend all day and night there,lighting candles to celebbrate the fact that the light overcomes the dark and that Life overcomes death.There are no such things as spirits,ghosts  and other evil inventions of the human mind.What there is is good and evil,God and the devil.We would do well not to budge an inch to Satan  and therefore no dress up as one of his sinister creations

  • Corbus

    Absolutely. Not just a bizarre commercialisation of All Saints, the ‘event’ has become a diabetes charter. I was nearly obliged to hand out insulin shots to the hordes of gobstopper gummed tubbies hammering on our door demanding sugar hits.

  • Jon Brownridge

     But Benedict is correct in asserting that it is America who commercialized Halloween to its present frenzied state.

  • DevilWorshipFTW

    what if we are not a christian? can we then partake in a bit of fun without the wrath of God falling on us?  although it will anyway according to you :)

  • DevilWorshipFTW

    It does not, in any minute way, shape, or form constitute to racism.

  • DevilWorshipFTW

    So that’s racist…how?

  • DevilWorshipFTW

    If you do, you will be laughed at. live in the real world, they’re kids for sciences sake! plus, to say it’s anti christian make you an idiot, should we ban Christmas because it’s anti Islamic? no! It, like Christmas  in my opinion, is an opportunity to take part in fun activities, an excuse to see your family and generally a nice time to have fun and get a holiday!