EXCUSE ME, BE CAREFUL WITH HALLOWEEN!
With the end of October, ceremonies of Halloween are spreading, although they are not connected with the Polish tradition. They determine the style of behavior among children and the youth. Parents are often forced to make extra expenditures on horrendous clothes, masks, vampire’s teeth, and similar props. Without thinking they give in pressure of their children. In this way they popularize the custom which destroys our Christian hopes connected with passing life on the earth.
What is Halloween that we should avoid it? This Celtic day existing in northern Europe for 600 years before Christ’s birth, was lasting from 31 October till 2 November, it was a kind of a new year. There was a belief that the idol of death and darkness frees ghosts of the dead at this time during the last year. In order to tame it, the Celts made sacrifices of people, too. European emigrants brought it to the United States and in the recent years it has returned to Europe.
The image of a hollowed pumpkin used to be a symbol of condemned souls. In the ancient times such an illuminated pumpkin or a skull placed at home showed that his inhabitants adored the satan and demons’ merits belonged to them. I think that we should not identify ourselves with the mentioned beliefs or exhibit a pumpkin but it is better to cook a tasty soup out of it.
Celebration of Halloween makes many young people identify themselves with bad ghosts, vampires, werewolves or demons. It is not only an innocent play, as it leaves negative consequences in personalities of those who participate in it. It depraves the emotional sphere of children and deprives them of their sensitivity to beauty, peace, the good and safety. We hear about cases that after visits of disguisers dressed up in Halloween clothes, children start having neurosis and for the next months they are terribly scared when in the presence of their family members somebody rings the doorbell. It is often necessary to take these children to a psychiatrist. Halloween pagan plays take place before the All Saints’ Day. It has a negative influence on ceremonies of the Dead’s Day and time of reflection on the fate of our souls after the end of the earthly life.
What can we suggest the young instead of the destructive play on the day of 31 October? We can draw their attention to beautiful biographies of many saints, so that their attitudes could become an example to follow. We can organize a march of the saints or a fancy dress party of the saints. Saint John Paul II consecrated many people whom it is worth following and about whom it is worth telling our children and grandchildren.
In Poland we should oppose to spreading Halloween despite advertisement campaigns, which accompany it and bring a commercial effect. Spreading Halloween destroys our national culture and Christian attitude to death and hope for the eternal life.