As an anthropologist I find celebrations fascinating, and the history of Halloween is equally so. I won't rehearse the background to the original pagan and consequent Catholic traditions here. Essentially any original meaning from these is now, for the majority of revellers, entirely lost in jollity and a glut of Americanised extravagance. Most people just see it as a fun and harmless activity for children and in many cases that is very much so, but for others it is an excuse for anti-social behaviour; and whilst some of the traditions really do help to build community in some areas, in the round I don't believe celebrating Halloween represents a healthy message for my little ones. For me it just doesn't sit well with my faith or the general message I hope they hear the rest of the year about the nature of goodness and inner beauty. I'm not a fan of the newspaper that carries it, but this article by J John encapsulates most of my views on the topic.
|Culturebaby as her 1/8 Polish ancestry|
I'm planning a celebration around a night of light. We will be dressing up as angels and having a little heavenly picnic of yummy treats whilst we take the time each year to learn more about our ancestors. After all, Halloween is All Hallows' Eve, and what better time of year for the girls to start to hear about and celebrate the wonderful stories around their Great-grandparents, hear about the sacrifices that ultimately led to them being born, see old photographs and say some prayers for them. I'm also planning that when they wake up in the morning they will find a small item as an inheritance each year - perhaps a photograph or small token to help them learn more about and value their heritage.