Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallows Eve

Happy All Saints Day to you and yours. That's what I always try to say a few times on Halloween. It's actually All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day (The Hallowed Ones I guess). Since I became a dad I've started to see the other side of Halloween. Almost every year someone stands up in church and decries the Satanic holiday. My own saintly parents always let us participate, just as long as we didn't do anything scary or cause any trouble. So basically, we got to do all the good stuff: candy and costumes.

We hold the same rules for costumes as we do for tattoos, those being: no dead things and no naked women. Although quite a few of the eleven-teen year olds in the neighborhood picked Hoochie Mamma for a costume again this year, but at least they all had the courtesy to not smoke on anyone's porch. As the father of a daughter I have the following to day about that: Shit ain't goin down like that at my house! (Please allow me at this time to introduce my new favorite key... the colon ":" take a bow little fella!)

So now I'm thinking about the spiritual aspects of the holiday... holy... day. In all actuality, modern day Halloween is about as much like the Celtic festival Samhain as modern day Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. A pagan harvest ritual and festival of the dead with offerings for departed ancestors and divination has turned into a commercial spending frenzy with pumpkins, costumes and candy.

Apparently the Church thought it enough of a bother to make their own holiday on November first and christen (Christ-en) Samhain as All Hallows Eve. The same thing was done for Christmas and Easter, they both were scheduled to offset pagan holidays. It's this kind of stuff that brings me to my own take on the situation.

I'm going to take anything I run across and look at it in terms of my faith. Music for example, my disgust for syrupy worship music is contrasted by my love of heavy metal, satanic stuff included. Both types of music cause me to examine my faith and how I relate to the world because of it. I wish more people could apply this kind of thinking to their take on holidays. (ie. Apply your world view to something and take away what you like from it.)

This time of year I'm gearing up for all the news pieces about people who bitch about Christmas. You've got Christians all upset because Christ has been removed from the holiday and non-Christians carping about how their rights are violated by religious displays. So why the hell can't the atheists just enjoy a festival of lights while people who are only nominal Christians celebrate someone they don't really believe in in the first place. Why can't the Christians just enjoy a harvest festival and let the kiddies wear their ghoul masks. The truth is, most Halloween celebrants don't really believe in a power called Evil and a lot of Christmas celebrants don't really believe in Jesus, at least not in a way that propagates throughout the rest of their year, either of them.

So I say: (<-- there he is again) stop bitching about Halloween! Let the kiddies have their candy and foam rubber zombie heads because their belief in the holiday stops there. Well, maybe it stops right after a good toilet papering and a few well tossed eggs. Ahh well, enough philosophy. I'm off to change into something black and station myself in a good vantage point with a high power flashlight. Nobody's getting my pumpkins this year!



Pamela said...

apparently. somebody *tried* to get your pumpkins last night, and you chased said someone away. and tonight? guarding the pumpkins with a flashlight? have fun with your flashlight!

The Mister said...

Well, if I had gotten out there with the light a little earlier, we would have caught the sunovabitch that paint balled us.

vanessa said...

sorry about the paint balls...i had good aim though. only on the windows...just kiddin' wasnt me.

we do treat....the little girl loves to dress up like a princess and get candy...little guy thinks you go to the door get candy and then get a tour of the the evening was spent carrying him from house to house and then trying to quickly get him off the porch b-4 he squeezed by the owner and began his tour.

I understand why some people have strong feelings about it though...for me it is just another childhood tradition in small town America - not an evil celebration of darkness. If our town had an alternative event...we would attend that instead.