blogging

Why You Shouldn’t Believe in Halloween

Following on from my recent Ghost Story, I didn’t grow up with the Halloween tradition and as such, I don’t feel the intense need to place a ‘ZOMBIE CROSSING,’ sign and plaster it in my front garden on October 31 each year.

zombie crossing

Nor do I relish having an imprint of a hand on my door/window/car in red paint, simulating blood. And I definitely don’t walk around with a fake plastic axe emerging from each ear in the workplace. In fact, to my way of thinking many aspects of the Halloween festival, are just bizarre. Where did the obsession with the un-dead start?

How Did Zombies Originate?

Familiar search engines suggested Zombies were based in African folklore as a “spirit that is supposed to wander the earth to torment the living” – i.e. this explanation sounds a bit like what we might consider a ghost or paranormal occurrence here.

The Haitian tradition of Voodoo, involved Zombie beings reanimated through magic, but it was actually pop culture and various Hollywood horror movies of the 90 s, such as George A. Romero‘s film Night of the Living Dead (1968) that really cemented Zombies into our vernacular.

Btw, the M.o.t.h. (Man of the House), does loves a Zombie movie.

He watches them late at night, well after I have gone to bed. If I happen to wake, I know when he is watching a Zombie movie as I hear a familiar low growl-type tortured scream of the incensed Zombie mob hungry for a feed of living flesh, permeating the walls of the bedroom. So much for romance! I usually roll over and yawn. Zombie movie plots are so vastly similar and too far debased for my television tastes that I don’t see any appeal in them at all.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Why Celebrate Halloween?

I do wonder why we teach young kids stranger danger, especially strangers bearing sweets or gifts, yet openly encourage them to wander the neighbourhood at night on Halloween, accepting lollies and god knows what else from a person completely unknown to them? Decorations entice them to enter the yard and walk up to a strangers’ door and ask for treats! Incredible.

Worse still, kids may choose to step inside a garage/house which has been decorated in a ‘ghost train’ or graveyard experience-styled theme. Wonderful!

To say nothing of the incentive Halloween gives to consumers to purchase all kinds of plastic rubbish that end up in a landfill. It really is, on the face of it, you know, a bit crae-crae.

So there will be no Halloween celebrated here at the Home by the Sea. Apologies in advance to those who love to celebrate the tradition. As you’ve guessed, I am not one of them.

My light will be off, as that seems to be what needs to be done to dissuade the young ones’ and the Zombies lollie lust. Some will no doubt think our house is fair game, especially if it is still daylight when the Halloween hoards roam the streets, hungry for their fix of sugary treats.

While I am putting the boot into this tradition, can I mention how the ‘Trick’ objective of ‘Trick or Treat’ seems to have gone out the window in favour of just getting that Treat and moving on! Nothing like time management, I guess. Kids around here head straight to the goalposts – they expect a treat and aim to collect as many as possible. Forget about performing for any sweet offerings. No messing around with water pistols or the demands of any ultimatum to the householders.

I once had to offer a biscuit/cookie to a pair of children who fronted up at my door. This was around fifteen years ago when the tradition hadn’t completely taken off yet. I was embarrassed that I had been caught out unprepared. I didn’t always have treats in the house.

I offered the kids a Chocolate Tim-Tam, which they quickly snavelled before moving on to the next house.

graveyard

Why I don’t believe In Halloween

  • I didn’t grow up with this tradition. It came into vogue early in the noughties, in my location.
  • It sends mixed messages to kids
  • It is heavily commercialised (as is Xmas and Easter)
  • It produces voluminous useless plastic trash that ends in landfill or worse still, the ocean
  • Making yourself look like you are dead or a bag of bones is just a tad weird.

But like always, I do try to see a silver lining. So on the plus side, Halloween:

  • enhances community
  • is an excuse to get to know your neighbours better if they are not hidden beneath a Sasquatch onesie splattered in red paint
  • means you probably don’t need to cook the kids any dinner that night
  • is something children love
  • means kids get frightened in a ‘safe,’ way which may help young children process intense emotions (although I am bit conflicted on this)

Any more reasons- both for and against Halloween?

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107 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Believe in Halloween”

  1. Coming from England, I didn’t grow up with Halloween and never got into it. I have prepped for trick-or-treaters in the past, but these days, live out of the way so don’t get them coming by. And, like you, I’m also mystified at the popularity of zombie movies.

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    1. If the plot lines of those Zombie movies had some substance, I could possibly watch the occasional one, if only for my m.o.t.h’s sake. Sadly they don’t seem to make that a priority over the special effects.

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  2. I agree. The whole thing abouty hallowe’en came to UK from US, mostly this millennium. A commercial phenomenon.
    I try to avoid its manifestations and despair at all that plastic rubbish finishing up in landfill, and the gross excess of chocolate in childrens’ tummies..
    And what’s the thing about ‘celebrating’ it? What is there to celebrate?!

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    1. Celebrating by running aroud the streets screaming grabbing sweets is kind of weird, Barry. Although Linda, who commented above, (workinginacres) drew my attention to the origins of the festival. In pagan times, the masks were so that evil spirits could not recognize the local population and to scare away the bad spirits. It makes sense in that framework. Much less so in modern times, where it lends itself to an excuse to engage in reckless behaviour and a sugary high!
      I actually felt quite stressed at one point last night when there were so many people in the street, car honking horns, and hordes of a dozen or more scantily clad girl in black bikinis and batwings running around the centre of the streets. It was mayhem and the warm community feel of a tradition was lost.

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    1. I can just remember a few years before I was 8 years old where we had bonfires and bought firecrackers. Then fireworks and crackers were banned and the tradition ended. It is a shame to see traditions end, so if only we could modify them so that the nicer aspects, like community or creative costume making were enhanced and the wanton greediness and plastic consumerism diminished.

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  3. Halloween celebrator here. I grew up in the US. We trick or treated in our neighborhood, going with parents to houses we knew, for the most part. There was an era of “watch out for the razor blade in the candy” but in my community you tended to eat from those you knew. There were some houses that gave away a unicef piggy bank (paper) with a couple of Pennie’s inside if I remember. My mom one year was sick of Halloween and wanted to hand out pencils. So I colored some lack on the yellow pencils to jazz them up and stapled Jack o lanterns I drew and cut out to them cause I was so embarrassed (I was pretty young then, def before age 11). As an older kid, I always enjoyed coming up with creative ways to take items at home or at a thrift shop and make a costume. I was Albert Einstein with a wig from a thrift shop I teased up and had a pipe. I used the same wig to make myself into a “lightning bolt victim” by adding a homemade bolt coming out of my head when I had to work the drive thru window at McDonald’s on Halloween when I was 16. I was a Venetian boat person one year with striped shirt, straw hat I had and a boat out of construction paper I hung from suspenders. I made myself bride of Frankenstein one year with white clothes from a thrift shop and a bit of tulle. Of course I burned my neck using rubber cement as a base for red-colored gore that I stitched up with sharpie marker. Etc. Halloween for me was always more about the creative side and fun with friends than it was for candy (I wasn’t allowed to eat much of it in any case). I finally am burnt out after being a happy ExPat watching Halloween bloom here in Norway and going all out on decorating for my children’s classmates to come ring the bell. In Norway, it’s pretty much pumkins that get put out by neighbors willing to answer their door for trick or treaters and most don’t remember which day the holiday is on. My older kids, although still trick or treat with me a bit in the hood, tend to celebrate at school with dressing up or at a party. There are drawbacks to the holiday, as you point out, but I grew up with it so it will always be a part of me.

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    1. A little follow up: This year our family (half American/half Norwegian and living in Norway) are celebrating by having carved 4 pumpkins (one for each of us), watched a couple Halloween-themed movies as a fam this past weekend, making Halloween cookie-cutter cookies (an annual tradition), and my daughter dressed up for school as Sylvie (the female Loki). We will light our Jack-o-lanterns tonight and answer the door to any trick-or-treaters in costume (or at least a mask of some variety. I didn’t really decorate this year as I burned myself out right before Covid hit. So for us the holiday is still mostly about family and dressing up.

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      1. I noticed a lot of plastic decorations around here on my walk, and the fake spider web which Brian Bushboy mentioned is toxic to birds. That is a concern. But your Halloween sounds delightful and a fun family time.

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    2. I get that for you Kewtie it is a firm tradition and one that you wish to uphold, modified or not. I am a bit horrified to hear about : “watch out for the razor blade in the candy” – what kind of nutter would do this? But as the holiday is not regulated I could see it happening. There will always be good and bad. I do like that you have embraced the creative side to the tradition and come up with some better ideas than what I saw around here last night. Plenty of bikini clad “bats” running amok, and bride of dracula/zombie costumes. The idea of parties is much preferable I think than to knocking door to door. Maintain your tradition, especially when you live in Norway. It is a place, from my experience, where tradition is ultra important to keep.

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  4. This really resonates with me Amanda as I didn’t grow up celebrating it either. We had Guy Fawkes a few days later which I loved. When we lived in Hong Kong though my Canadian and American friends celebrated in style. But the trick or treating was done in a compound of 16 houses and all the adults were present too. Here in Perth there is an unspoken rule if your house isn’t decorated don’t knock

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    1. The unspoken rule applies here too, but I went out to the compost bin last night to dispose of the vege clipplings and was bailed up by Halloween hopefuls! They were lots of screaming and mayhem but apart from lollie detritus on my lawn, we survived. I am sure the enjoyment or not of Halloween depends on where you are and how it is celebrated. I like the idea of celebrating it at a private party where there is less likelihood of nefarious goings on. It is curious how it the popularity is on the rise and our gradual Americanization of culture ( such that it was) through the internet, youtube and movies. I remember a couple of Guy Fawks night, before fireworks were banned. Was it just crackers and bonfires?

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      1. No it was full on fireworks
        My dad used to buy a big box from the corner shop and would pin Catherine wheels to the back fence and put rockets in milk bottles
        And the next day .. get this.. my brother and I had a small wheelbarrow and we would go round the neighborhood collecting dead fireworks 🤣 oh the joys

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        1. Good on you for cleaning up the neighbourhood with dead skyrockets. I remember the catherine wheels on the fences. I never bought those but I do remember skyrockets being placed in glass milk bottles. That probably means you remember milk being delivered to your door?

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    1. You’ve fallen victim to urban legend and completely misunderstood the history of Halloween or Samhain. In its Celtic origins, people wore masks to scare off evil spirits – not to invite them. As with Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the tradition also honors our departed loved ones; the people we lost and miss. Somewhere along the line, ignominious fools began coating these rituals with ghoulish overtones and made them evil. If you want to understand true horror, though, closely examine Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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      1. There are many instances of horror in various organized religions and it is very sad when people are blind to the bad and only see the good in such institutions. Sometimes the overriding concept is wholesome, but people will interpret things in their own way and believe that truth. A bit like Chinese whispers in a way. Each interpretation of the words being skewed from the original intention. The way you described the Day of the Dead sounded just fine, Alejandro, and yet when I first heard of it, I had a totally different impression. If the focus was on the things that are good in each doctrine and not use any religion to cause and inflict harm to anyone or anything, the world would be a different place. As for Halloween, there are good aspects and again, some rotten apples spoil it for the rest by their skewed interpretation.

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  5. Yep, England calling. Halloween was a nothing in my day, as Ali says, it was all about Guy Fawkes Night. One of our less palatable American imports. Michaela hides behind the sofa, not because of horror movies, just so the trick-or-treat kids think we’re not in.

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    1. Another in the anti-Halloween camp. It seems that if you don’t grow up with it, you resist it. If you born into it or exposed heavily to it with Movies, Snapchat, TikTok and Youtube, you want to participate. After witnessing last night’s antics, I can see good and bad. The bad outweighed the good I am afraid.

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  6. I hear you on this one! My front lights will be out, as always. I like the costumes but I grew up celebrating the Hallow Day and not the gory Halloween day.

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  7. Growing up in Australia, I also did not experience Halloween. Coming to USA, it took me a while to work out what it was all about.

    These days we do give out candy to the kids. I guess we can think of it as a full employment move for the dentists.

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    1. Lol. Neil. I couldn’t imagine too many dentists thrilled about Halloween, although as long as they brushed their teeth well, they would probably give it a grudging pass mark.
      I am glad it seems to be more about the creative side than the lollies. But do kids still expect sweets to be handed out?

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  8. No Halloween in Germany before Hollywood started to export it to the world. But – my father used to get a large fodder beet sometime in October (no definite date) and we hollowed it out, carved a face in it and put a candle in it – very similar to a jack-o-lantern. He called it a “fire devil” and it was suitably eerie seeing it in our yard. Later in Saudi the kids (going to an US American school) celebrated Halloween and it was actually quite a nice tradition. Since we lived in a closed compound there were no strangers involved. The children dressed up in costumes as princesses and knights or animals or, the older ones in more ghoulish attire (I remember an elegant vampire in our family and at one stage our younger son insisted on carrying a basketball “head” under his arm while his real head was hidden in a large man’s jacket). Then there was parade through our little “village” and then the children dispersed and started trick or treating. Participating houses had cut out pumpkins on the door. We lived in a corner house and I made my husband sit outside and give me a sign whether the approaching children were little ones with their parents – and then I would come to the door and be the nice neighbour lady – or if they were older ones I put on a commedia dell arte leather mask (the same each year, ehem!!!) and jumped at them before they could ring the bell. Lots of fun! And somehow wholesome. But something like this is only possible in small, close communities.

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    1. If Halloween operated in such a way as you describe in Saudi, I would probably be more of a fan and of course it operated in a controlled environment. I like the community aspect and especially the parade as that emphasizes the creative side of costume making and laughed at how you son had a basketball head one year! Haha.
      I can also see how you have made Halloween into such a fun activity for you in your community. A leather mask does sound quite scary and S & M! Its effect would be no doubt to induce screams in teenage girls? We heard plenty of those last night!

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      1. Saudi is a special place in many ways. As expats you do take part very little in the lives of Saudi people, it’s almost completely separate. Because there are few recreational possibilities people are responsible for their own entertainment – we’ve organised murder mysteries, parties, pub quizzes, outings, activities for the kids, nobody does it for you. It’s definitely something I liked about my time there.

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          1. Seven years altogehter, six years in the Eastern Province, just opposite the island state of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, and another year in Jeddah on the opposite side of the country at the Red Sea.

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            1. Hofuf, possibly. The largest oasis in Saudi Arabia. An old town with an ancient souq (which has since burned down – the pictoresque open smithies were the reason, or so I’ve heard) and a huge camel market, all within a huge date plantation. We went up a couple of stories in a farm house and in four directions we could see nothing but the top of date palms. We were standing in a green sea, which was quite amazing.

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            2. It certainly was. When life got a bit difficult there (with all the restrictions) I told myself that I am experiencing something that only a comparatively small number of people have experienced (until very recently it was only possible to visit Saudi Arabia either as a Muslim on hajj or umrah or working for a “sponsor”).

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            3. A very special experience living there in a different space and under different rules. Your open minded attitude helped you to see the benefits of such an experience. Not everyone can do that and that means they do miss out on those unique experiences.

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  9. I love Halloween but I’m not a fan of zombies (or zombie movies). I also love Dia de los Muertos and the rich history behind it… perhaps that celebration would be more appealing to you? Since I live close to the Mexican border… and our state was once a part of Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated here too.

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    1. Janis that is so interesting. I have heard vague references to the Mexican day of the dead and I have seen those candy skulls but not known of their significance until now. Reading about it on Wikipedia makes it sounds like a delightful tradition that helps ease the grief associated with those who are no longer living with us. Is it celebrated in the Mexican way in your state?

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      1. Halloween is celebrated here as usual but lately, DdlM decorations and celebrations have been quite common. I think the American awareness of DdlM really started when Pixar’s animated film, Coco, came outseveral years ago (have you seen it? It’s worth a look). We were lucky to be able to see the celebrations for ourselves when we visited Oaxaca, Mexico around this time in 2019. It was very crowded, but worth it.

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        1. How lovely to be able to see the authentic Mexican celebrations in person, Janis. I have not seen the Pixar film, Coco, but vagely remember the title being advertised here. It is quite amazing the influence the movies have on how culture is formed and evolves. As discussed in the post, it seems the huge increase in the popularity of Halloween can be attributed to popular movies, television series and the internet. It kind of makes the world smaller in a way.

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  10. When my kids were young I had as much fun making home-made Halloween costumes are they did wearing them. They’d wear it to school & in the rstly evening my husband would take them out trick or treating, but only to the neighbors we knew and even then, only to a few.

    I’d stay home to hand out treats but to tell you the truth, it was the avaricous greediness of the older kids that took me out of the game. Badly behaved and barely costumed, they’d travel in swarms, grab the candy and make off with not a word of thanks. Worse still, their parents would encourage the behaviour by driving them around to different neighborhoods, just so that they could maximize on the candy haul. After a few years of that, I kept my lights on only for the early treaters (little kids) and turned it off by 7pm when the older ones came out.

    I don’t mind the dress-up & costume aspect of Halloween. It’s a bit of fun that kids of all ages (& more than a few adults) enjoy. But the wanton greediness? Nope, I don’t encourage it.

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    1. I hear you, Sandy and your description of Halloween was exactly what I witnessed last night. The young kids with their Mums or Dads came early and were gracious, even shy – but the wanton greediness of kids with backpacks, eskies on wheels, cooler bags etc and mobs of scantily clad girls screaming and nearly getting run over did nothing to make me like the tradition. I was annoyed but reading all the wonderful comments here, I can see that the benefits are also in dressing up, in the creativity of costume making and the community connection. But it can easily get out of hand and people abuse it.

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  11. As far as stranger danger goes, the NZ police are finally telling people what we have known forever, that almost all serious harm to children comes from people who they already know (in the very high 90 per cents). And we don’t tell children not to hang around people who they already know.

    As far as Halloween goes, why would we encourage children to engage in a practice which is about demanding treats and doing something nasty if they don’t get them? In order to consumer more rubbish, both literally and figuratively in terms of the decorations. We need to think a lot harder about our festivals, what they actually mean and the best ways to practice them, if we want to keep them.

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    1. You make a good point about thinking a lot harder about traditions and what they mean. Some un p-c traditions have been transformed here so could we improve Halloween? I think so.
      Making Halloween about the costumes and visiting friends or private Halloween parties is preferable in my mind than fatuous crackpots running the streets at night deliberately causing unbridled mischief.
      I have heard that statistic about victims of crime more often being connected with someone they know than someone they don’t – although there are frequent opportunists. It would seem that the stat for them might be closer to 10% or higher, but it is hard to know whether that is the perception created by media attention. Those random acts by, or on, strangers are well-publicized, skewing our impressions. Daniel Morcombe is one terrible example. (Though not connected with Halloween).
      The plastic rubbish consumed on this one day and produced for this one day, that you also mention, bothers me most of all. Just for one day. And Brian has drawn my attention to the dangers of the fake spider web.

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  12. Never came across Halloween when young, we were all into collecting money for fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night.
    When living in rural France an unheralded knock on the door after dark would be met with a levelled shotgun…..no doubt why the festival never took off there….

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    1. I do just remember celebrating Guy Fawkes Night as a very young kid, but then fireworks were banned when I was about 8?? Prior to that, I saved up my coins to buy skyrockets and pennybungers! I can’t imagine my kids doing that.
      I laughed about the shotgun in France after dark as the reason why Halloween didn’t take off. That would be just like the French to buck the trends. Good on them, I say. Is this still the case, despite the proliferation of the tradition in places like UK, NZ and Australia?

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  13. Halloween is the one holiday when we get to see all the neighbor kids up close. Usually when we see them they’re outside playing in yards, but because the kids have to walk up to the door to score candy, they do it. It’s also popular with parents, often with an adult beverage in hand, who walk around with the kids, chatting with adults along the way. For us it’s about community, but I do take your points that it is an odd bunch of traditions tossed together for 24 hours: it’s a mixed bag of Samhain and El día de Los Muertos and All Saints Day.

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    1. I am really pleased to hear that Halloween is about community and I could see how that could work well. Early in the evening, there was that kind of atmosphere here but sadly it quickly degenerated after dark with fatuous crackpots and bikini clad bats running around in swarms screaming. Like everything, give people an inch and they take a mile.

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  14. We don’t celebrate Halloween, it is not conducive to steady nerves for PTSD, I cannot go shopping this time of year it would hospitalise me. lol. The same goes for my Mum too she has a fear of spiders which immobilizes her, guess what stores are decorated with. I have also seen first hand & know a few families whose children are on the spectrum, completely immobilised or screaming with fright by the decorations in stores & some are unable to attend school. Our local grocery store had to take down a lot of deco as it distressed so many. Just another pagan ritual commercialised.
    Halloween was celebrated to announce the winter coming, bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits & people would wear masks so they wouldn’t be recognized by evil spirits that may visit.
    Obviously each their own just not for us.

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    1. Thanks Linda for the explanation behind some of the meanings of Halloween. As a pagan ritual centuries ago, it makes sense. The overcommercialisation and plastic detritus and unbridled mischief and wanton greediness is an abomindation.
      My nerves were rattled last night when there was mayhem on the streets and I could absolutely see why kids on the spectrum and those with PTSD would feel distressed. I am glad your local grocer responded to the community requests to tone it down. One hopes that will be a trend that continues and that we have seen the worst of it. I do like the creative aspect and that is one that could be promoted in a fun way.

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  15. I did the Halloween thing as a kid, but only now consider it as a pagan Celtic holiday. But I also honor the Mexican Día de los Muertos tradition. Despite its ghoulish or morbid overtones, it’s – as the name implies – a day for the dead; or rather, a day in which we honor our loved ones who have gone before us. Every culture recognizes these individuals. They were important to us when they were present in this life and they remain important, even though they’re no longer here with us. I pray to my parents every night (or morning, depending on when I go to sleep) and tell them I’m simply glad they can rest now. I feel they did enough for me in their lifetimes, so I ask for nothing from them now.

    Several years ago, when I worked for a bank, a coworker said Halloween was “the Devil’s holiday.” I explained its Celtic origins and mentioned the Mexican holiday; heavily emphasizing that it’s a day not to be feared or dreaded. It’s day to honor those loved ones. He said he understood and then seemed to change his mind.

    We must always honor our departed loved ones. If we betray their love, our own futures are clouded with uncertainty.

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    1. I rather like the concept behind honouring the ancestors/parents/dearly departed. I think the name gives people the incorrect impression of the sentiment of the tradition. Today I spoke to someone who is readying her altar for the Mexican Día de los Muertos. I don’t know many Mexicans around here but it is lovely to know that they are following this tradition.

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      1. I mentioned the holiday in my debut novel “The Silent Fountain”. My paternal grandfather used to get upset that his wife (my grandmother) and other women in the family would set up alters with food and beverages. My father told me, when they were kids, he and his younger brother would get up in the middle of the night to eat some of the food. LOL! He said his father knew what they were doing, but didn’t balk at it.

        My mother told me her maternal grandmother would get very upset at similar instances in their family. She said her grandmother declared that the suggestion the dead would return and consume earthly food was a sin.

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        1. The older generations were certainly fixed in their beliefs. In the families I know, the oldies were terribly superstitious. About cutlery – crossed knives, new shoes, spilling salt and other things. Some of the superstitions made sense, others were a bit silly.

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  16. I’m with you about the gore of Halloween. I grew up with something called Fasching in Germany but it was for adults. Had something to do with getting ready for Lent. I envied my parents partying while we had to stay home. I have no use for anything scary or horrific. My son did a zombie one Halloween. We wrapped him in gauze and after, used it again for crafts. He’s just too silly to be a good zombie though. I remember my first and last Halloween on the army base when I was 12 taking my brother and sister and collecting candy for the brother who was hospitalized that Halloween. I was admonished at each apartment for being to old until they hear I was just getting candy for my baby brother who had pneumonia. (True) I was then given generous portions which allowed me a small share. The candy made him happy as he recovered. We had happy, silly attitudes about it. No mischief or mayhem. It’s like any other holiday. Even Christmas. It’s what you put into that matters. We look for ways to be generous and kind to others vs the gimmy, gimmy’s. We are very practical in all things. The only thing I ever liked about Halloween was seeing cute kids in home made costumes. Take a look at this for it’s awww factor. https://bluebirdofbitterness.com/2022/10/31/trick-or-treat-5/#comment-150766

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    1. Aww. I love the kids on the zimmerframes and the pair of bubs with the curly ball wigs! How fun. I am surprised that you were berated for being too old to collect candy at Halloween, even though they retracted it once they knew the real reason for doing so. Last night in our area, there was reports of teenagers egging cars when people said they were too old for treats or didn’t have any…. sad that there are some individuals who spoil it for the rest.

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  17. Not too much in favour of Halloween. Not something we “celebrated” when I was a child… In France it is more All saints day (Nov 1st). Now here it is more the Day of the Dead. yet another tradition… (A bit too strong for me too…) 😉

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    1. Halloween went a bit crazy around here. Some bad apples spoil the little kids enjoyment at times. I was pounced upon by hopeful Halloween teenagers when I was disposing of my vegetable peelings to the compost!
      I suppose you can celebrate it to a lesser or greater extent, depending on preference. How did you celebrate November 1st in France? I did hear that they didn’t celebrate Halloween itself.

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      1. “Pounced upon”? Not physically I hope?
        On All Saints Day, the French go (or used to) the cemetery. To visit the dearly departed.
        Though I believe Halloween is popular now…

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            1. I hope so, open-mindedness can only benefit us, although I resent the loss of any linguistic and cultural diversity that sometimes can accompany Americanisation of other cultures. Violence with guns is one thing I hope America doesn’t export as much as export Coca-cola.

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            2. It’s all a matter of balance. Take the best of each culture, and keep your own best. Singapore is a very good example of that.
              Guns? I just interviewed a Gender specialist in Brazil to help my daughter on a project. (I speak Portuguese, she doesn’t really). What the lady said about factors that impacted violence in Brazil recently was the liberation of guns by Bolsonaro… 🙁

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            1. Most Europeans – along with most Asians, Australians and Latin Americans – fully comprehend the value and joy of gastronomical delights without overindulging and metamorphosing into walking health hazards.

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            2. I think the Australians are following the worst habits of Americans too closely, Alejandro. I heard we are running a close second to bad eating habits. The population as a whole are very big meat eaters, as it was so plentiful and inexpensive here. Post depression era philosophy was meat and three veges. That needs modification today, I think.

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            3. Noooooooooooo! Please Amanda! Do whatever you can to help your fellow citizens from falling into the American trap of culinary overindulgence! It literally is a matter of life and death!

              We have a network here in the U.S. – TLC (as in “tender loving care”). I think there are affiliates in the U.K. and Australia. They generally deal with human interest and medical care stories. They have a couple of ongoing series that analyze the problem with morbid obesity. “My 600 Pound Life” is one. I call it “Fat-Ass” TV. It’s disgusting and appalling how some people can let themselves become so physically large. These aren’t always individuals with metabolic disorders. They are mostly people who have become addicted to food – mainly the wrong foods – and can’t control themselves.

              I became addicted to alcohol more than 30 years ago – and will always have those cravings. I still consume alcohol, but I’ve learned to moderate myself. I think it really is a matter of personal willpower. But I don’t feel too sad for people who drink too much alcohol and end up with liver cirrhosis or a drunk driving crash. I feel sad for other, truly innocent people who often fall victim to such reckless behavior.

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            4. Yes, I am afraid that the fast food fascination has caught on here in some sectors. There are organizations attempting to combat obesity, primarily in children. The children that have been fed unhealthy foods have so many fat receptors in their brains, hospitals now are seeing many more bariatric patients than ever before. Weight loss surgery is on the rise. I do believe it is a matter of self-control and some victims readily admit they don’t have an off switch when it comes to food. Some have traumatic pasts that trigger compulsive eating. It is a problem. I hope the tide turns against Maccas and the like soon. I hate the stuff.

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            5. Childhood obesity has become an alarming scourge in the U.S. Pediatricians and various health officials have noticed a rise in hepatic illnesses among children and teenagers over the past 20 years. More alarming is that we’ve seen a rise in diabetes type 2 among our youth. Type 2 diabetes has often been called adult onset diabetes because it usually impacts adults who have led poor lifestyles. A close friend who died of liver cancer this past April was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year. My 82-year-old uncle was diagnosed with the same ailment a couple of years ago. Both had led unhealthy lifestyles. In the past only children with truly erratic immune systems would develop type 2 diabetes. But more and more very young people are coming down with it.

              More than a decade ago our former First Lady, Michelle Obama, called it a national emergency. If our children are our future – and they’re suffering from diabetes and various other ailments and disorders – do we want them serving as firefighters and paramedics? Are these the people who would be fit to serve in the military? If they’re dealing with high blood pressure and cardiovascular irregularities, how can we expect them to oversee our national security? Could they even work an 8-hour desk job without collapsing?

              Obesity and overall poor physical health has become a plague in the U.S. Thus, I hate to see any other nation succumb to such fates.

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            6. Type 2 diabetes and obesity is a disease of the first world, Alejandro. But it can be reversed! If it is not too late. I think of Jamie Oliver and how he changed the diet of schoolchildren in the UK. He campaigned for the lunch meals offered at schools to be healthier. He changed things. It helped.
              In Australia, children bring their own lunch to school although a school canteen operates but not on the scale that it does, overseas. They have to offer healthy foods. It is okay to have hamburgers and soft drinks as long as that is a special treat! Healthy eating begets more healthy eating. Unfortunately teenagers don’t listen and are much affected by peers, so good habits go out the window. I tried hard to offer my boys healthy good food and we rarely had any sweets in the house, unless it was Xmas or a birthday party. I ensured the boys had adequate nutrition, in terms of vitamins, minerals and proteins etc. I was proud of my boys that they would get excited about an afternoon tea of celery sticks and cheese and or a home baked treat.
              Even so, when my son turned 14 he decided he was not going to eat anything green – no veges for several years. He simply refused. His digestion suffered and continues to suffer fifteen or so years later… the good habits went out the window.
              While the schools have improved what they offer, at the canteens, what families send kids to school with, has deteriorated. By the time my daughter went to school, a decade after the boys started school, so much had changed. She was one of only two children in her class who brought a sandwich and piece of fruit to school for lunch. Every OTHER child had processed food, packets of crisps, packaged muesli bars ( high in sugar) and other crappy foods of low nutritional content. I was shocked. I also noticed that when the boys started school, there was the odd overweight child – noticeable when they had swimming lessons in summer. When my daughter started there was ten or more overweight kids in the class. Such was the decline……..

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  18. it’s an US holiday but it is being slowly introduced here. halloween parties and kids putting on costumes but not going around for trick or treat. November 1 is All Saint’s day here and it is customary to visit the graves of loved ones and to light a candle and bring some flowers

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      1. This is not about resistance, perhaps you misunderstood me or at all events my statement wasn’t complete. In other words I’m perturbed that we don’t have it here. I’d have wished that it were here and that it were embraced and celebrated

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        1. So you are a fan, Pradeep! I am not! At least not in all the ways it is celebrated. It is often an excuse for bad behaviour in teenagers. If you read my post, that message comes through.

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  19. I am from the place that Halloween or Samhain originated from. It was so much more fun back in the day. Groups of children would go from undecorated house to house. You were expected to recite a poem or a trick before you got any treats. The treats were usually apples and nuts. All costumes were hand-made… Ah, the good old days!

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    1. Now that sounds like a lovely tradition to uphold. What a shame it has been adulterated. Plus I couldn’t see yahoo-ing teens being involved in that, so it would be the younger kids that would be interested in the creative side that you describe! Apples and nuts, the days when such foods were a treat! Where is that place, Kerry?

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      1. It was all over Scotland but Samhain is Celtic and pagan. We used to ‘dook’ for apples (put your head into a bowl of water with apples in it and bite one). Reach up to bite scones covered in treacle. It was all great, messy fun and usually for the under 12s.

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