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Source: (consider it) Thread: Do Bright and Light parties fulfil a need?
Curiosity killed ...

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I went digging to find out about the origins of the Bright and Light parties and found this document from 2006: Better than Halloween (pdf) suggestions for alternatives to Halloween with Biblical justification - very similar to that of the Scripture Union materials

According to the Wikipedia article Halloween customs in (southern) England were disapproved of by the Puritans and additionally mostly transferred to the Guy Fawkes celebrations of 5 November, which caused them to mainly die out. (That was in the 1600s, btw, so 400 years ago - we managed our own suppression of customs all by ourselves.)

Bright and Light parties as a way to counteract Halloween just seem misguided and badly thought through.

If the intention is to do something about trick and treating - and in the UK it's a real problem - a £1.4 billion bill in 2012 for the damage and vandalism caused, mostly by thrown eggs - surely these parties should be aimed at teenagers?

If they want to reclaim the Christian festival why are they not looking at the memories of the dead? Maybe a cemetery or graveyard clean up with flowers on neglected graves and a bonfire with spooky stories? And add in cliffdweller's stick to symbolise things that have gone have gone better?

If they want to provide a generous party with sweets to protect children from walking the streets and knocking on the doors of strangers, then why not a street party with forfeit games and a costume party with the prizes weighted towards homemade costumes, not the commercial ones? And agree doors who are prepared to engage in advance - with the traditional jack o'lantern outside, maybe? And get the participants to open the doors wearing costumes.

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Baptist Trainfan
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I mentioned Hallowe'en in church last week to the children as a "bit of fun". An elderly gentleman came up to me afterwards and said, "I can't see how you can bring yourself to say that - it's Satanic".

And, certainly, it has always been that view which I have heard expressed in Evangelical circles as the reason to have Light Parties and to oppose Hallowe'en, not the "Death is scary, we shouldn't mention it to the children" one.

By the way, have other people noticed how Hallowe'en is losing its apostrophe these days, too, further dissociating it from "All Hallows" = "All Saints"?

[ 02. November 2014, 07:10: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Chocoholic
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I remember when I was little the local brownie pack always held a Halloween party. I was very excited when I got to go the first year I was a brownie. I still remember being amazed that we had green orange squash [Smile] The following year it was decided it wasn't appropriate for a church brownie group to do.

The year before I was old enough to go to the party a few of us in our road who were around the same age did get dressed up and went trick or treating to each other's houses. This was before ET came out so it was done here prior to that.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
The sad thing about Halloween is that most participants are completely ignorant of the festival and celebration of All Saints. I don't mind kids having a bit of fun dressing up and having a party as long as they don't go knocking on strangers' doors begging (a very dangerous activity). However, kids should also be exposed to the beautiful side of life and death with joyful memories of those we have loved/admired who have died and gone to eternal rest.

Thankfully we have had no children knocking at the door this year. There were quite a few last year, some far to young to be out and about.

I said 'Sorry, no treats here, and what if I were a murdering woman and dragged you into my house? This is not safe, go home!

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
The sad thing about Halloween is that most participants are completely ignorant of the festival and celebration of All Saints. I don't mind kids having a bit of fun dressing up and having a party as long as they don't go knocking on strangers' doors begging (a very dangerous activity). However, kids should also be exposed to the beautiful side of life and death with joyful memories of those we have loved/admired who have died and gone to eternal rest.

Thankfully we have had no children knocking at the door this year. There were quite a few last year, some far to young to be out and about.

I said 'Sorry, no treats here, and what if I were a murdering woman and dragged you into my house? This is not safe, go home!

Probably some of those who called last year told mum and dad "the lady in number xxx didn't have any sweets and told us she was going to murder us". Message received, this year mum & dad said "don't go to number xxx, she doesn't want to do treat and treat". Most children, especially the younger ones, are supervised by an adult (who may be a bit down the road where they can see the kids but not obviously hovering - in my case usually chatting to other parents likewise engaged in discrete child watching) or much older children. The children don't want to waste time calling on someone who isn't going to give them anything, so will only visit homes that look promising - porch lights on, decorations displayed etc.

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fletcher christian

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I find it very sad that the whole concept of Halloween (of the mockery of the devil and his hoards on the eve vigil of a major feast) is disappearing. Stranger still, that it is Christians who have become so anti it and allowed it to be hijacked by every loon in town.

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
I find it very sad that the whole concept of Halloween (of the mockery of the devil and his hoards on the eve vigil of a major feast) is disappearing. Stranger still, that it is Christians who have become so anti it and allowed it to be hijacked by every loon in town.

I think there are several factors at play, and of course they'll vary in different places.

The first issue is that for many Christians, especially evangelicals, All Saints isn't a major feast. There has been a move from All Hallows Eve to Halloween (even dropping the apostrophe), it's become a festival isolated from the surrounding calender.

A second issue is that as Christendom has declined in western Europe there have been movements to revive pre-Christian traditions. In the Celtic world that has included Samhain, the festival to mark the autumn equinox from which most of our Halloween traditions largely derive (albeit changed significantly from their roots).

Third, the issues above have combined to create a festival that has not only been cut from the Christian calender but also now associated with pagan rituals. I think the "it's satanic" attitude in some Evangelicals comes largely from a misconception that something that's pagan is satanic - which is, of course, nonsense and if actually believed would mean they'd be as concerned about Christmas trees or Easter eggs (there are Christians who'd object to these too, but much fewer in number than those who object to Halloween).

And, that's before we get to the problems of cultural practices being imported into other countries where the rest of the culture those practices belong in doesn't exist.

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
If the intention is to do something about trick and treating - and in the UK it's a real problem - a £1.4 billion bill in 2012 for the damage and vandalism caused, mostly by thrown eggs - surely these parties should be aimed at teenagers?

Trick or treating and Halloween vandalism are not done by the same groups. The trick or treaters are almost all pre-adolescent; the vandals are almost all adolescent.

Moo

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Curiosity killed ...

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In my (UK) experience it is a continuum, because of the nature of Hallowe'en over here.

I knew primary school children who used Hallowe'en trick and treating as an excuse to put horrible things through the doors of neighbours who had told them off during the year. And a number of other primary school children who were involved in vandalism.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
I think the "it's satanic" attitude in some Evangelicals comes largely from a misconception that something that's pagan is satanic - which is, of course, nonsense and if actually believed would mean they'd be as concerned about Christmas trees or Easter eggs (there are Christians who'd object to these too, but much fewer in number than those who object to Halloween).

True.
My brother is a pagan, a magus, and he doesn't believe in Satan.

Strangely he does believe in Lucifer... I don't think I'll try and address that one!

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Moo:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
If the intention is to do something about trick and treating - and in the UK it's a real problem - a £1.4 billion bill in 2012 for the damage and vandalism caused, mostly by thrown eggs - surely these parties should be aimed at teenagers?

Trick or treating and Halloween vandalism are not done by the same groups. The trick or treaters are almost all pre-adolescent; the vandals are almost all adolescent.

Moo

It should also be noted that that article covers all damage covering Halloween and Bonfire Night. It also includes damage from accidents with fireworks, and damages from parties at home (sooner or later someone will drop red wine on the cream carpet, or put a bottle of beer on top of the TV). So, although it says the most common form of vandalism is thrown eggs, the costs of cleaning up will be very small (occasional broken window aside). The actual cost of Halloween hooliganism will be much less than that £1.4 billion.

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Penny S
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As I understand it, Samhain is not the equinox, which is around 22/23 September, and associated with Michaelmas, a quarter day for the purposes of rent, along with Christmas, Lady Day and St John's Day (Midsummer).
Between these astronomical quarter days (equinoxes and solstices) lie the cross quarter days, All Saints, Candlemass, May Day and Lammas (Loafmass, originally the first fruits of the harvest). The cross quarter days mark out the seasons according to nature in these parts. November brings the loss of tree foliage and really miserable winter weather; Candlemass the first stirrings of plants, with snowdrops, and, a little later, the birds pairing up on the 14th; May Day, the beginning of summer and abundant growth; and Lammas, as above, the beginning of harvest. The cross quarter days have their Celtic names, and the inheritance of being used in Ireland and Scotland for rent collection.
Incidentally, the Celtic calendar began with this time of year, with the dark part coming first, in the same way as the Hebrew calendar marks days by taking night first. So now is the new year according to ancient custom.

[ 02. November 2014, 12:08: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Heavenly Anarchist
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We had over 50 children call for trick or treating (we live on a council estate). Most of these were accompanied by adults and all were well behaved. Many children stopped and chatted on the doorstep as they know my children from school, mums also chatted. It was a very pleasant evening and I've not heard any reports of unpleasant deeds locally.

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Alan:
quote:

In the Celtic world that has included Samhain, the festival to mark the autumn equinox from which most of our Halloween traditions largely derive (albeit changed significantly from their roots).

Sadly - again - most of that kind of stuff is a crock concocted by modern 'wiccans' and the like. Certainly in Ireland there may have been some who lit fires around the equinox, but this notion that a great pagan festival took place around Halloween is pretty much nonsense as far as I can tell. On the other hand, if the wiccans argued that Lammas was a great pagan festival then I might give them that; especially considering how festivities to mark it still take place here to this day (as they also do on Lughnasa, which has even more of a pagan air to it).

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
By the way, have other people noticed how Hallowe'en is losing its apostrophe these days, too, further dissociating it from "All Hallows" = "All Saints"?

Halloween only occasionally had an apostrophe here in California when I was a child (I'm almost 52), and it's long gone now.
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balaam

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It never has an apostrophe when I was a child, it is something that seems to have been introduced, but not introduced fully, only fairly recently.

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Cathscats
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Always an apostrophe in my youth in rural Scotland, where my evangelical parents would clear out the garage, light it with turnip lanterns, and one gas lamp and host a party with Apple dooking and mashed potatoes with sixpences in them and treacle scones suspended from a string that banged you stickily in the face, before we all went off guising - unsupervised. Looking back I think my very sane parents knew that it was better to have a lot of fun on hallowe'en and good solid Christian teaching about good and evil throughout the year than try to hide from one or combine the two. I hope we have given my own kids as much fun: this year they decided that they were too old to go guising.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
It never has an apostrophe when I was a child, it is something that seems to have been introduced, but not introduced fully, only fairly recently.

Don't think so - it was a contraction of All Hallows' Even in the 1770s.

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Penny S
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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Posted by Alan:
quote:

In the Celtic world that has included Samhain, the festival to mark the autumn equinox from which most of our Halloween traditions largely derive (albeit changed significantly from their roots).

Sadly - again - most of that kind of stuff is a crock concocted by modern 'wiccans' and the like. Certainly in Ireland there may have been some who lit fires around the equinox, but this notion that a great pagan festival took place around Halloween is pretty much nonsense as far as I can tell. On the other hand, if the wiccans argued that Lammas was a great pagan festival then I might give them that; especially considering how festivities to mark it still take place here to this day (as they also do on Lughnasa, which has even more of a pagan air to it).
I thought Lughnasa and Lammas were pretty much the same thing, both being at the beginning of August and all.

My source on the year beginning on the first of November was (I think) "Celtic Tradition" by Alwyn and Brinley Rees, (1960) Thames and Hudson, which drew on the Gaulish calendar disc found at Coligny, which predates the neo-pagans by a considerable period, and which they compared to the Indian calendar and connections with Diwali (as I recall).

I don't think neo-pagans can be blamed for everything people think about the cross quarter days. Though possibly for thinking they are the same as the solstices and equinoxes. Which the earlier people seem to have thought more important, since they built their monuments with alignments in those directions.

[ 02. November 2014, 15:43: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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mousethief

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I'd be willing to bet that dropping the apostrophe has everything to do with the normal evolution/simplification of words in the English language (iced cream, anyone?), and nowt at all to do with dissociating the holiday from All Saints.

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Baptist Trainfan
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I entirely agree - but the effect is to aid the dissociation.
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Kelly Alves

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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
It never has an apostrophe when I was a child, it is something that seems to have been introduced, but not introduced fully, only fairly recently.

Maybe it's a micro- regional thing, but I remember actually being surprised the first time I saw the word with an apostrophe.

But I agree with mousethief-- we simply started spelling the word the way we say it. Chumley, anyone?

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I went digging to find out about the origins of the Bright and Light parties and found this document from 2006: Better than Halloween (pdf) suggestions for alternatives to Halloween with Biblical justification - very similar to that of the Scripture Union materials

I recall going to Light Parties when I was in primary school, which would be the first half of the 1990's. (FWIW I don't recall them being more cringeworthy than any other children's party.)

My guess is that they are a product of the Satanic Ritual Abuse paranoia at the end of the eighties.

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Pancho
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:

I said 'Sorry, no treats here, and what if I were a murdering woman and dragged you into my house? This is not safe, go home!

Probably some of those who called last year told mum and dad "the lady in number xxx didn't have any sweets and told us she was going to murder us".
In the U.S., this would also be a great way of building a reputation among the neighborhood kids as The Mean Lady at House Number XXX.

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we wailed, and you did not mourn.’"

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Enoch
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There wasn't much interest in Halloween and no fuss made about it when I was growing up in the fifties. I have to admit, though, that I don't like the modern stuff. With the concern these days about paedophiles,the whole idea of children going round in the dark and knocking on the doors of complete strangers to be given sweets is a bit creepy. And I really dislike this throwing eggs at people. That is just an excuse for yobbery.

I'd much rather go to this. It looks much more fun. It's quite a long way away, though. So I suspect I never shall.

Whether it's fireworks, Christmas carols, tar barrels (you need to get about 1½ minutes in to find out what they are singing about) or setting fire to replica Viking ships, people need something to cheer them up when it's cold and the nights are dark.

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Pancho
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There wasn't much interest in Halloween and no fuss made about it when I was growing up in the fifties. I have to admit, though, that I don't like the modern stuff. With the concern these days about paedophiles,the whole idea of children going round in the dark and knocking on the doors of complete strangers to be given sweets is a bit creepy. And I really dislike this throwing eggs at people. That is just an excuse for yobbery.

This is a difference between the U.S. and the U.K. In the U.S. it's never felt creepy. All the kids trick-or-treating are accompanied by adults or the older ones are in pairs and groups. When I was a kid we pretty much only approached houses where it looked like people were handing out treats (lit jack-o-lanterns lit, porch light on, etc.) and avoided ones that looked like nobody was home.

Nobody ever threw eggs at people. The worst prank I'd heard of was throwing toilet paper at someone's house and I'd heard of that happening in my area maybe once.

I think that in it's travel back to the British Isles Halloween has lost some of the innocence it has in North America, as in taking the "trick" part literally. One reason is because these things often lose something when they travel from one place to another (for example, there aren't as many people with childhood memories or stories passed down in the family to make sure things are done right).

Another reason is that it's been losing some of the innocence in North America too. It used to be more of a spooky children's carnival. Think of the Halloween scene from "Meet Me in St. Louis". Nowadays there's more of an emphasis on horror and gore by way of Hollywood and carousing by young adults. I think that is kind of a problem so I kind of sympathize with people who start looking for alternatives even though I don't have a problem with Halloween itself.

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“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, ‘We piped to you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.’"

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fletcher christian

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Posted by Penny S:
quote:

I thought Lughnasa and Lammas were pretty much the same thing, both being at the beginning of August and all.

Sorry, you're right, but its a geographic thing and I wasn't very clear. The answer then is yes and no. They are the same time, but they are quite different in substance. Lammas tends to take place in the far north of Ireland in the form of a fair, the exchange and parading of livestock and lots of drink. Lughnasa tends to involve ritualised dance, the gathering up of corn for offerings and was even said to have involved the sacrifice of a bull and tends to be observed only in the Republic of Ireland. Today it involves patterns and turas', so it's become sort of Christianised to a very large extent, although in some places you might still see seanachaí reciting stuff and various sean-nós singers wearing curious corn and wheat masks during Lughnasa and reciting and singing material that centres on sex and courtship, but the practice is rapidly disappearing

quote:

I don't think neo-pagans can be blamed for everything people think about the cross quarter days.

No, I don't think so either; the Christians are to blame for ignorance of their own faith!

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Stetson
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Pancho wrote:

quote:
This is a difference between the U.S. and the U.K. In the U.S. it's never felt creepy. All the kids trick-or-treating are accompanied by adults or the older ones are in pairs and groups. When I was a kid we pretty much only approached houses where it looked like people were handing out treats (lit jack-o-lanterns lit, porch light on, etc.) and avoided ones that looked like nobody was home.

I concur with Pancho that Halloween, at least as I've seen it practiced in North America, would not likely be a high-risk night for child sexual abuae.

If anything, kids would be more at risk at a private party, held away from the public eye. But even that is only relative to what I think would be the pretty low risk of public trick-or-treating.

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justlooking
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# 12079

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
.... Unfortunately, what it meant was that we were in a graveyard on Halloween, making a fire and burning stuff.

[Killing me] Brilliant!

I agree with the points you're making about this SC. Halloween is fun for kids in a similar way to Bonfire Night, which also has macabre origins. I went to a church primary school and we did Halloween-themed artwork. The 'Mischief Night' you mentioned earlier was also a firm tradition. It's the night before Bonfire Night when the conspirators were organising their 'mischief' of blowing up parliament. For kids it involved a lot of knock-on-door-and-run-away and kicking dustbin lids about as I recall.

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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When I was a kid, trick or treating was for little kids. By the time you were 12 or so, you were discouraged from doing it except as chaperone for a younger kid.

Now high school kids go house to house. Frankly, I'm on edge when half a dozen strong adult-sized men bang on my door after dark, as late as 9 or 10 PM, yelling "open up, we know you are in there." Back when I still opened up, not one of the teens was wearing any hint of costume.

Actually, last time I stayed home for trick or treat, only half the kids wore any costume, and I'm counting a bit of face paint OR a silly hat OR a simple mask as costume.

Between the decrease in costumes to enjoy and the roving gangs of young men sounding like they intend to break down the door (or windows), I either leave for the evening or turn out the lights and hide in a back room.

At the downtown party, seems like most of the people are in costume, kids and teens and adults and dogs. Lots of fun just people watching.

A 40-something friend says Halloween is his favorite holiday. Think of it - no obligation to have all the extended family, no gift shopping, no food or ornament obligations imposed by tradition. Just gather some friends and have fun.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by justlooking:
Halloween is fun for kids in a similar way to Bonfire Night, which also has macabre origins.

But Halloween doesn't have macabre origins.

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Penny S
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I'm really glad the scratches appeared on my window at least a week before last Friday.
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Martin60
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Hey Brenda. Tixus right? You can always offer them some lead ...

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Love wins

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Jemima the 9th
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Our church has a bright party thing, though this year it was on nov 1st, which I thought was a bit odd if you were trying to provide an alternative. But hey ho. It's very popular - estimated 100 children yesterday, though I didn't go. It's also extremely loud and colourful - the church is full of glitter and tinsel. They do apple-bobbing, biscuit decorating and eating-a-doughnut-off-a-string, there are (nonalcoholic!) cocktails and other stuff which I've forgotten.

It is quite party like, though there are praise songs - kids' ones, v loud, to backing cd.

They put on 2 films - a short cartoon for the under 7s, then a feature film. The kids get a party bag of sweets.

I think it fulfils the party and e numbers criteria quite well, and it's not as cringey as it might be. But whether it's a needed alternative I don't know - Hallowe'en round here is very safe. Small groups of small children, accompanied by an adult or older sibling. They only knock at doors with a pumpkin outside, and I haven't seen or heard any bother.

This Mirror article was doing the facebook rounds and might give an insight into one Anti-Hallowe'en angle (I think he's wrong on pretty much every count....) http://www.mirror.co.uk/opinion/news-opinion/reverend-j-john-six-reasons-2486777

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Stetson
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quote:
This Mirror article was doing the facebook rounds and might give an insight into one Anti-Hallowe'en angle (I think he's wrong on pretty much every count....) http://www.mirror.co.uk/opinion/news-opinion/reverend-j-john-six-reasons-2486777
Hmm. Halloween is "unhelpful" because it contradicts parental teachings about the danger of strangers?

Well, actually, one of the things we learn as we grow older is that there ARE situations where we have to approach strangers, including on their doorsteps, and it needs to be done in a safe and cautious manner. Halloween should be a great oppotunity to drive home that distinction.

The rest of the editorial seems like it was written for religious paranoiacs, with four variations on "Halloween is evil". Though he makes an appeal to the "sensitive politically-correct" crowd with his complaint about some costumes being offensive to the disabled.

I suppose he might have a point about that last one. I'd be interested to hear from people who suffer from severe burns, facial wounds, etc as to how they feel about their physical shortcomings being used to symbolize horror and evil.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Jemima the 9th:
Our church has a bright party thing, though this year it was on nov 1st, which I thought was a bit odd if you were trying to provide an alternative.

I have recollections of churches throwing parties on the 1st of November from years ago. Not as an alternative to Halloween, but as a celebration for All Saints. A counterpoint to the previous evening. After having some fun recalling (usually mockingly or parodising) evil we then celebrate as we remember those saints who went before us in the faith overcoming evil with good. It always made a lot of sense, even from those traditions that didn't really have All Saints services or other commemorations.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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saysay

Ship's Praying Mantis
# 6645

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
Now high school kids go house to house. Frankly, I'm on edge when half a dozen strong adult-sized men bang on my door after dark, as late as 9 or 10 PM, yelling "open up, we know you are in there." Back when I still opened up, not one of the teens was wearing any hint of costume.

I've never had anyone knock on my door later than nine (I think it helps that the paper publishes trick or treating times).

And I give carrots to people who aren't wearing costumes. Cause you have to at least entertain me if you want candy; that's the deal. If you break it, you get a carrot.

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I'll tell you all about it when I see you again"
"'Oh sweet baby purple Jesus' - that's a direct quote from a 9 year old - shoutout to purple Jesus."

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

My brother is a pagan, a magus, and he doesn't believe in Satan.

Strangely he does believe in Lucifer... I don't think I'll try and address that one!

Pretty simple, really--the being he calls "Lucifer" isn't the same as the disbelieved being he calls "Satan."

quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
Sadly - again - most of that kind of stuff is a crock concocted by modern 'wiccans' and the like.

I'm not convinced of that, myself--and, by the way, Wiccan (without scare quotes, please) starts with a capital letter.

Gardner did make up some things, as far as people can tell, but I would not characterize the whole wheel of the year as a "crock."

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

My brother is a pagan, a magus, and he doesn't believe in Satan.

Strangely he does believe in Lucifer... I don't think I'll try and address that one!

Pretty simple, really--the being he calls "Lucifer" isn't the same as the disbelieved being he calls "Satan."
So say you. But weren't you one of the people complaining that Christians should be able to define their own faith and not have it defined for them by atheists? Shouldn't we allow pagans the same courtesy?

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
So say you. But weren't you one of the people complaining that Christians should be able to define their own faith and not have it defined for them by atheists? Shouldn't we allow pagans the same courtesy?

Er, is this to me or Mudfrog? In my case, I think I am allowing him the same courtesy:

quote:
Pretty simple, really--the being he calls "Lucifer" isn't the same as the disbelieved being he calls "Satan."
I.e., since Mudfrog's brother does not believe in the being he refers to as "Satan," but does believe in a being he refers to as "Lucifer," those cannot be the same being in his metaphysics. (Though in traditional Christian metaphysics, those are indeed the same entity.)

As I don't know what branch of pagan or magical stuff he's connected to, I have no idea what his specific beliefs are otherwise.

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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quote:
Originally posted by Jemima the 9th:
This Mirror article was doing the facebook rounds and might give an insight into one Anti-Hallowe'en angle (I think he's wrong on pretty much every count....) http://www.mirror.co.uk/opinion/news-opinion/reverend-j-john-six-reasons-2486777

And this is what they put in the paper the previous year: you can always trust the "Mirror" to give a sound, balanced and intellectual view o hings. [Devil]
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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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Posted by Chastmastr:
quote:

I'm not convinced of that, myself--and, by the way, Wiccan (without scare quotes, please) starts with a capital letter.

Gardner did make up some things, as far as people can tell, but I would not characterize the whole wheel of the year as a "crock."

Well, here they identify themselves with 'the Celts' and in keeping with their traditions, faith and thinking. So the logic goes that they are animal loving, nature honouring, peace loving, all believe in the same deities, and their major feast day happens to be Halloween. Now if that isn't just the biggest pile of steaming bullshit; well, I don't know what is.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Komensky
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# 8675

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I like much of Flether's comments, among others, on this thread. I find it pretty easy to say to the kids: "this is so much fun! Let's carve a pumpkin and go trick-or-treating!". The comments early on in this thread are spot on: 'light parties' are a perfect way to show how square Christian culture can be. Moreover, all the stuff about demons and zombies isn't real anyway (for some reason it seems this needs to be said).

K.

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"The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity." - George Bernard Shaw

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Siegfried
Ship's ferret
# 29

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Samhain is a quarter day--the midpoints between solstices and equinoxes. Same with Beltaine and so forth.

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Siegfried
Life is just a bowl of cherries!

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Pancho:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There wasn't much interest in Halloween and no fuss made about it when I was growing up in the fifties. I have to admit, though, that I don't like the modern stuff. With the concern these days about paedophiles,the whole idea of children going round in the dark and knocking on the doors of complete strangers to be given sweets is a bit creepy. And I really dislike this throwing eggs at people. That is just an excuse for yobbery.

This is a difference between the U.S. and the U.K. In the U.S. it's never felt creepy. All the kids trick-or-treating are accompanied by adults or the older ones are in pairs and groups. When I was a kid we pretty much only approached houses where it looked like people were handing out treats (lit jack-o-lanterns lit, porch light on, etc.) and avoided ones that looked like nobody was home.

Nobody ever threw eggs at people. The worst prank I'd heard of was throwing toilet paper at someone's house and I'd heard of that happening in my area maybe once.

This is exactly what happens in my corner of the UK.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
It depends where you are in the UK.

Obviously I didn't get to experience Halloween in Scotland this year, and last year was awkward. But, we had small groups of local children knock on doors (those with porch lights on and other decorations to be welcoming) and 'guising *. Which seems much more fun than just getting given sweets for doing nothing more than saying "trick or treat". I spent an hour walking around with the group of parents who were making sure everyone was OK, that they all watched for traffic when crossing the road, no one went to any of the houses with porch lights off, carrying the carrier bags full of sweets since little hands can only carry so much. Most of the time we don't let ourselves just chat with neighbours, much less walk up to their doors. Fun for kids, and community building for parents.

I can see it working much better in areas where there isn't much traffic, cul-de-sacs or other quite roads. I can certainly see it as a logistic nightmare in denser urban settings with heavy traffic, lots of flats with security entrances etc. ...

* 'guising is the more traditional Scottish activity that has similarities to 'trick or treat', costumes and visiting houses getting sweets. The difference is that the door step visit involves singing songs, telling jokes, a bit of dancing or some other form of entertainment for the householder.

This is a very good description of Halloween in St. Louis, Missouri. Here you must tell a joke or sing a song to get candy. My toddler decided "Jingle Bells" was appropriate. I'm wondering where they got the custom from, as there don't seem to be a lot of Scots around (more Germans and Italians).

As for the dangerous or unwelcoming security gate type neighborhoods, what we usually do is load the kids up and take them to the home of a friend or church member in a more hospitable neighborhood. Although I must say I can't recall ever hearing of a real criminal incident involved with trick or treating (non-urban legend, I mean), and vandalism simply isn't done in my (obviously) limited experience.

My mother called this year and talked about the Trunk or Treat thing her church was doing--a few do it here, too. I'm afraid I was pretty negative about it, though I tried to shut up after it became clear that she thought the traditional way was terribly dangerous. Huh?

Then I took my kid and his cousins around the neighborhood in the traditional way, and said nothing to Mom. As she once did with us.

It was FUN walking the (well-lit) neighborhoods at night in costume, figuring out who might be home and willing to answer the door, getting the occasional fright as someone's battery-operated gadget oooohhhhed at us, seeing the cool decorations and the teenage attempts at a haunted garden tour, getting plenty of exercise, seeing what kind of haul we had at the end of the night--even putting up with the traditional filching of Butterfinger bars by Granddad and the parental tax ("you owe me a Hershey's") for checking our candy (which was an unnecessary ritual we all did because of the urban legends). Oh, and seeing what all our neighborhood friends had decided to wear, at least some of it homemade (Mom dyed surgical scrubs black for some reason I can't recall). Deciding which homeowners were way cool for giving you full-size candy bars, and which had no clue (toothbrushes, gummy hamburgers, etc.) And of course the obligatory over-eating of candy before being shoved off to bed, still wired.

I can't see replacing that with a daytime event in the light with nothing to do but walk a few steps from car to car to grab extra calories. [Frown]

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Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Pomona
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# 17175

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Halloween became popular in the US BECAUSE it is secular - it allowed a nation of immigrants to celebrate it whatever their cultural background when it became just about dressing up and having sweets. I see Samhain, Halloween and All Saints as being totally different from each other.

I was staying with a friend in London (quiet street in Finchley, mostly families and young professionals) over the weekend, and on Halloween we had two groups of trick or treaters - one of infant school aged children, with their parents, one of slightly older children (about 8?) with their parents waiting at the gate. All very polite, no threat of vandalism, all accompanied by parents, all said thank you for their sweets and Happy Halloween. I seriously cannot see the problem.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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Surely the best thing to do is to mark Halloween, for all it is worth, scaring away evil and darkness (and letting the kids get a little bit 'safely scared') on Oct 31, and then celebrating All Saints, for all it is worth (letting the light in and remembering all that is holy and good) on Nov. 1st. So, rather like Good Friday and Easter Day, the two days complement, each other, turning bad into good. Anyway, if nothing else, it's a brilliant excuse for two parties!

Our All Saints party at church comprised of a splendiferous meal, combined with wine, verse and song.

[ 03. November 2014, 15:00: Message edited by: Chorister ]

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Oscar the Grouch

Adopted Cascadian
# 1916

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One development around here (I can't comment on elsewhere in North America!) is the growing practice of malls to hand out sweets and have Halloween events. A number of people have commented to me on how this is increasing in popularity and we have discussed whether, longer term, this may result in a reduction of children on the streets in the evening. I can see how, especially on windy and wet nights, it could be more appealing for parents and children to go to a warm mall to do Halloween. If they can fill up on sweets there - what's the point in going out in the wet?

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

Posts: 3871 | From: Gamma Quadrant, just to the left of Galifrey | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
# 3216

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quote:
Oscar the Grouch: One development around here (I can't comment on elsewhere in North America!) is the growing practice of malls to hand out sweets and have Halloween events.
Something similar is happening with the St. Martin's Day celebrations in the Netherlands.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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