Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 05:52 pm
I'm really excited that Mo and I have been invited to attend the big Mormon Halloween party "Trunk or Treat" that they do early evening at the LDS temple parking lot.

A lot of my neighbors are Mormon and they take most of the neighborhood kids who all rave about how much fun this event is.

When I tell people that we are going many of them are surprised to learn that the LDS church sponsors Halloween events.

This makes me wonder how other churchs view Halloween.

Fill me in on how your religion views Halloween. Why?

Thank you!
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 06:40 pm
Re: Boo who!?
boomerang wrote:
I'm really excited that Mo and I have been invited to attend the big Mormon Halloween party "Trunk or Treat" that they do early evening at the LDS temple parking lot.

A lot of my neighbors are Mormon and they take most of the neighborhood kids who all rave about how much fun this event is.

When I tell people that we are going many of them are surprised to learn that the LDS church sponsors Halloween events.

This makes me wonder how other churchs view Halloween.

Fill me in on how your religion views Halloween. Why?

Thank you!
Some people think the idea of witches and spirits is just a joke. I don't
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 06:51 pm
Are you a member of any recognized religious denomination, neologist?

How does your belief in spirits and witches affect your religious beliefs?
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 07:17 pm
For pagans the holiday is known as Samhain (pronounced Samween). I have edited this from another website:

Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means "summer's end."

Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the Celtic year, for the Celts divided the year into two seasons: the light and the dark, at Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st. Some believe that Samhain was the more important festival, marking the beginning of a whole new cycle, just as the Celtic day began at night. For it was understood that in dark silence comes whisperings of new beginnings, the stirring of the seed below the ground. Whereas Beltane welcomes in the summer with joyous celebrations at dawn, the most magically potent time of this festival is November Eve, the night of October 31st, known today of course, as Halloween.

In the country year, Samhain marked the first day of winter, when the herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre. The hay that would feed them during the winter must be stored in sturdy thatched ricks, tied down securely against storms. Those destined for the table were slaughtered, after being ritually devoted to the gods in pagan times. All the harvest must be gathered in -- barley, oats, wheat, turnips, and apples -- for come November, the faeries would blast every growing plant with their breath, blighting any nuts and berries remaining on the hedgerows. Peat and wood for winter fires were stacked high by the hearth. It was a joyous time of family reunion, when all members of the household worked together baking, salting meat, and making preserves for the winter feasts to come. The endless horizons of summer gave way to a warm, dim and often smoky room; the symphony of summer sounds was replaced by a counterpoint of voices, young and old, human and animal.

At at all the turning points of the Celtic year, the gods drew near to Earth at Samhain, so many sacrifices and gifts were offered up in thanksgiving for the harvest.
______________________________________________
I work in an industry related to agriculture. Halloween is the end of my old year and the beginning of my new. I think I relate to this holiday more than any other. Xmas/Channukha turned me off years ago with the greed and consumerism. I still find meaningful symbolism and fun in Halloween. My second favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 08:04 pm
Thank you Green Witch!

I love to hear how people find symbolism in the various holidays as it does seem that commercialism rules the day.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, second to none.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 08:40 pm
boomerang wrote:


How does your belief in spirits and witches affect your religious beliefs?


I believe in myself and I am quite the spirited witch..
Laughing
0 Replies
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 08:47 pm
boo hoo to you too!

It's fun!!!
0 Replies
 
KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 08:57 pm
not celebrated here at all, dont realy know what its all about, except that U.S kids dress up in costumes and go door to door trick or treating!
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Oct, 2005 09:36 pm
Remember the name "Hallowe'en" was chosen by the church to presage both All Hallows (All Saints) and All Souls Day.

Christianity moved in to displace--not remove, displace--pagan festivals.

Many of the fundamentalist churches choose to regard Hallowe'en (with or without the apostrophe) as a celebration of Satan.

In some circles "Holier than thou" sells.
0 Replies
 
mrcolj
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2005 10:48 am
I've experienced three geographical incarnations of Mormonism. First, I'm from San Francisco; then I was a missionary in Texas; and now I live in Utah.

In San Francisco, I had never heard any ideas contrary to celebrating Halloween from anyone. The Church generally sent out signs saying not to wear masks (just for safety's sake, I assume.) I personally had an aversion to genuinely scary movies, but a good happy action horror movie was great. Cross-dressing was frowned upon also. But among the populus, it was a combination of lupercalian carneval and kids scaring each other. Kids were just as scared by the system about razor blades in candy and teenagers who smoked.

In Texas, again, the Mormons were mild. A lot of the locals from other religions, however, were horrified that we had halloween parties. Those were the same locals who yelled at me when I wore a santa claus tie to church. Bible belt.

Now, in Utah, I see another brand. Again, the Mormons are pretty mild. No one cross-dresses, there are basically no witches or devils, but rather a ton of pricesses and superheroes. The adults never have an adult theme. House-of-Horror places are HUGE, and corn mazes are big. My halloween movies have targeted more toward the PG-yet-raunchy horror movies, or the visceral pre-Christmas movies (Gremlins, The Nightmare Before Christmas). Shaun of the Dead (rented at the local edited movie rental store) was one of my favorite movies this year. My wife, baby, and I this year are going this year as Jor-El, Kal-El, and what's her name wife. Smile
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Oct, 2005 10:08 pm
boomerang wrote:
Are you a member of any recognized religious denomination, neologist?

How does your belief in spirits and witches affect your religious beliefs?
Short explanation:

The bible does not support the belief in an immortal soul or life after death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

However, there are wicked spirit forces. (Ephesians 6:12) And we are told to shun spiritism. (Revelation 22:5)

If you seriously believe the bible, why risk alienating yourself from God just so you can have a good time? Why not stay home and have pizza?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 07:11 am
neologist wrote:
boomerang wrote:
Are you a member of any recognized religious denomination, neologist?

How does your belief in spirits and witches affect your religious beliefs?
Short explanation:

The bible does not support the belief in an immortal soul or life after death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

However, there are wicked spirit forces. (Ephesians 6:12) And we are told to shun spiritism. (Revelation 22:5)

If you seriously believe the bible, why risk alienating yourself from God just so you can have a good time? Why not stay home and have pizza?

Do you even take yourself seriously?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 09:20 am
Hi mrcolj, long time no see! I hope all is well. Thanks for dropping by with your story. Have a fun Halloween with your kid and ole' whatsername.

To be honest, neologist, the fact that God might be that easily offended is one reason that I don't "seriously believe the Bible".

That God probably doesn't want me to eat pizza either.

There are a lot of people who do believe the Bible who don't think God is a total sourpuss
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 09:24 am
boomerang wrote:
There are a lot of people who do believe the Bible who don't think God is a total sourpuss

I think I just found a new sig. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 09:27 am
DrewDad wrote:
neologist wrote:
boomerang wrote:
Are you a member of any recognized religious denomination, neologist?

How does your belief in spirits and witches affect your religious beliefs?
Short explanation:

The bible does not support the belief in an immortal soul or life after death. (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

However, there are wicked spirit forces. (Ephesians 6:12) And we are told to shun spiritism. (Revelation 22:5)

If you seriously believe the bible, why risk alienating yourself from God just so you can have a good time? Why not stay home and have pizza?

Do you even take yourself seriously?
Perhaps the only joke about the tradition of Halloween is the one foisted upon its celebrants.

And, no. I don't take myself seriously.
Horace Walpole wrote:
This world is a comedy to those who think - a tragedy to those who feel.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 09:48 am
Our church and the Christian school my daughter attends is holding a "Harvest Fest" on Halloween night. Similar to Halloween, they will give out candy and have games, costume contests, etc. However, the costume theme is "Something God Made." I guess this to dissuade anyone wearing anything scary. The do not support anything in relation to Halloween - simply change the name to Harvest.

I did attend another church when I was young and went to their Halloween party. As I was young, not sure if they changed the name to something else or not, but it was basically a Halloween party. Also, know another more liberal church that does hold an official Halloween party and calls it such. One of the people I know that attends this church, and last year he said his daughter had a devil costume - He told his wife that they probably should re-think the costume even though the church is liberal - not sure if they ever did.

Basically we are going to celebrate Halloween - it is all fun, and fantasy, not celebrating the devil or evil spirits (and most parents in the school agree) at least not any more. We will go to our favorite spot - a local downtown on the harbor where they close the street to traffic and the businesses hold trick or treat. I don't think that God takes my children dressing as a clown and a cheerleader and getting some innocent treats, as being offensive. We are not celebrating any sort of spirits evil or otherwise, simply being a part of a fun tradition. I honestly believe that God has nothing against having good clean fun.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 10:09 am
Ha! DrewDad! I'm flattered.

Hi Linkat! I've heard about churchs rephrasing Halloween as Harvest Festivals before and I'm curious as to what the objection is to Halloween.

Is Halloween really more pagan than a Harvest Festival?

If God exists he has seen some really nasty stuff (and supposedly been responsible for a lot of it). I think a kid decked out like a clown gobbling down root beer barrels probably makes him smile.
0 Replies
 
mrcolj
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 10:33 am
Quote:
Our church and the Christian school my daughter attends is holding a "Harvest Fest" on Halloween night.

You know, Saturday night we had a "harvest fest" at our church, and it never crossed my mind that it may be staying off those who would be offended by Halloween. But that makes plenty of sense. I had previously assumed the church was just saving money by combining their Halloween and Thanksgiving parties (probably another benefit, if not the main reason.)

And whether to celebrate the devil's holidays is not as simple as it sounds. I mean, that was the whole point of organized syncretism of holidays. Taking over December 25, when most people believed (appropriately) that the real christmas was probably in the spring, was the only way to end the massive Io Saturnalia winter solstice parties. So is Christmas the devil's holiday? No, it's a pagan holiday confiscated by Christianity. Ditto with all holidays. Valentine's day is a lovely version of the S&M fertility rituals called Lupercalia.

So the question is, if Halloween, in our world, is a holiday celebrating princesses, clowns, and superheroes; what does it matter if 1000 years ago or 1000 miles away it's a holiday of devils and witches?

I'm not saying I have an answer. I'm not sure I'd let my kid dress up as a devil (unless it was a cute red one, but definitely not a scary one Smile ). The high school 20 minutes down the road just had a big vote on whether to change their mascot from the devils to something more benign, and I don't really know how I would have voted if I lived there.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 10:34 am
I agree Boomerang. I think it basically has to do with a couple of things (whether right or wrong):

Halloween is supposed to be celebration around ghosts, spirits, witches. Almost like how the school will not allow Harry Potter stories. It is about practicing witchcraft which is definitely anti-Christian. While most of the parents and adults involved with church/school may agree that Halloween is now more about the cute little trick or treaters, it is more the premise of what Halloween symbolizes. They don't want the impression that support witch craft, ghosts, spirits, etc.

Also, they may be concerned about children dressing in a costume inappropriate for a Christian atmosphere. Many traditional costumes would be considered anti-Christian - witch, ghost, goblin, vampire, etc.

By calling it a Harvest Fest and the premise of a costume being something made by God, they are essentially celebrating Halloween without any of the anti-Christian values.
0 Replies
 
AngeliqueEast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2005 10:51 am
And, for some it's just a great excuse for a party, and nothing else. To show their creativity, and just have plain old fun Exclamation Very Happy
0 Replies
 
 

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