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BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?

Strollin' Johnny 30 Oct 04 - 03:46 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Oct 04 - 04:12 PM
Peace 30 Oct 04 - 04:21 PM
Joe Offer 30 Oct 04 - 04:24 PM
Georgiansilver 30 Oct 04 - 04:28 PM
fat B****rd 30 Oct 04 - 04:34 PM
fat B****rd 30 Oct 04 - 04:35 PM
Georgiansilver 30 Oct 04 - 05:44 PM
dianavan 30 Oct 04 - 07:23 PM
Little Hawk 30 Oct 04 - 07:43 PM
frogprince 30 Oct 04 - 07:48 PM
Peace 30 Oct 04 - 07:49 PM
s6k 30 Oct 04 - 09:16 PM
Bobert 30 Oct 04 - 09:48 PM
Billy the Bus 30 Oct 04 - 10:23 PM
Strollin' Johnny 31 Oct 04 - 01:48 AM
Strollin' Johnny 31 Oct 04 - 02:23 AM
GUEST,Boab 31 Oct 04 - 02:44 AM
katlaughing 31 Oct 04 - 02:52 AM
Rustic Rebel 31 Oct 04 - 03:08 AM
Catherine Jayne 31 Oct 04 - 04:54 AM
Catherine Jayne 31 Oct 04 - 04:55 AM
Sooz 31 Oct 04 - 05:05 AM
Jeanie 31 Oct 04 - 06:05 AM
Sooz 31 Oct 04 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,John O'Lennaine 31 Oct 04 - 07:33 AM
Strollin' Johnny 31 Oct 04 - 09:58 AM
Catherine Jayne 31 Oct 04 - 10:14 AM
Amos 31 Oct 04 - 10:29 AM
Strollin' Johnny 31 Oct 04 - 10:51 AM
Mrs.Duck 31 Oct 04 - 11:21 AM
dianavan 31 Oct 04 - 11:51 AM
Peg 31 Oct 04 - 12:55 PM
GUEST 31 Oct 04 - 01:10 PM
GUEST 31 Oct 04 - 01:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 Oct 04 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,1:10 & 1:14 31 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM
C-flat 31 Oct 04 - 02:28 PM
GUEST 31 Oct 04 - 02:42 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 Oct 04 - 02:46 PM
English Jon 31 Oct 04 - 03:23 PM
Clinton Hammond 31 Oct 04 - 03:28 PM
Little Hawk 31 Oct 04 - 06:31 PM
Nemesis 31 Oct 04 - 07:15 PM
dianavan 31 Oct 04 - 10:11 PM
frogprince 31 Oct 04 - 10:22 PM
Peg 31 Oct 04 - 10:36 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM
Nerd 02 Nov 04 - 01:09 AM
Moses 02 Nov 04 - 08:11 AM
Strollin' Johnny 02 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 03 Nov 04 - 06:47 AM
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Subject: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 03:46 PM

Not flaming or trolling here, just strikes me as very odd indeed that a nation like the USA, which has a strong Christian heritage (as well as the other major religions of course) and seems to view itself as a paragon of righteousness, should be so obsessed with celebrating a festival which encourages vandalism and greed and which has its roots in the occult.

Whadya think??

SJ :0) (retiring, having lit the blue touch-paper!) LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:12 PM

"Is Halloween Rubbish?"

Only wankers think so...

Halloween, like any other 'celebration' is only what you make of it... no more, no less...


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:21 PM

Is Halloween Rubbish WHAT? Useful, wasteful, unsightly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:24 PM

Hey, I'm in it for the candy. Don't get deep and philosophical about this. It's all about chocolate.
And if they give apples and other healthy stuff, pass those houses by.
Trick or treat!!
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:28 PM

IMHO, If you're into wicca, witchcraft, paganism, devil worship or just ignorant...I suppose it might be fun. Does anyone actually understand what halloween is all about??? Perhaps they could enlighten us all. Go on please tell us why you celebrate halloween...
Thank you in anticipation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:34 PM

About two hours ago Charlotte aged 5 from next door came (with her Mum) to show us her Halloween "scary" outfit she had black lacy dress, face painted appropriately, mini broomstick and pumpkin. She also had a huge smile and posed for a few snaps with the Digicam.
Is Halloweeen rubbish ?? Not tonight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 04:35 PM

Oh yeah..and a pointy black hat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 05:44 PM

Yesssssss, I know what you're saying but what is the purpose of it all. Why do it??? What started Halloween? I find it interesting but want to know the why's and wherefores.
Best wishes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: dianavan
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:23 PM

Georgiansilver - There is another thread about the origins, etc. Its definitely pre-Christian. Whats interesting is that it has lasted this long!

Originally the Autumn solstice was thought to be a crack in time and space. A part of the year where spirits could pass into this world and play 'tricks' on us.

Its not rubbish. It has, by the very fact that we retain a customary observance of this night, as much credibility as Christianity.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:43 PM

There are a multitude of reasons and motivations behind Hallowe'en, just as there are behind Christmas, and they are BOTH based upon pre-Christian festivals from very ancient times.

Pick your own reason to like Hallowe'en or dislike it, and fixate upon that to your heart's content. :-)

The USA is a paragon of righteousness only in its own deluded imagination...and a festival based on "greed, vandalism, and the occult" as GeorgianSilver puts it could hardly be more appropriate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: frogprince
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:48 PM

Some of the Wikkans or Pagans among the troops here would be be more qualified to explain any serious meaning it has for them; for the great majority here, it has no real connection whatever with its original roots; its just what "fat B." presented, an excuse for kids (of whatever age) to decide what crazy costume to wear, and have some fun. The real element of vandalism in some locales is regretable, but I've lived in various parts of the country for over 60 years now, and have yet to personally encounter anything but harmless fun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Peace
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 07:49 PM

To answer the question definitively: Yes and No.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: s6k
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 09:16 PM

hello. yes it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Bobert
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 09:48 PM

Is Holloween rubbish?

Heck yes, now...






















Trick 'er treat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 30 Oct 04 - 10:23 PM

It's just a warm-up for Nov 5 (Guy Fawkes' Day) --- 'The only man to enter Parliament with honest intent'...

Cheers - Sam in NZ - where we never celebrated 'All Hallow (Saints) Day' when I was a kid. We trucked round town with our "Cuy"...

cy Fawkes, Guy...
Sit him up on high...
Put him on the bonfire..
There let him die.


Mumble... mumble... forgot the rest, but there was a TERRIBLE THREAT when at the end, when we were extorting money for our fireworks from the terrified citizens...

... If you haven't got a penny?
A ha'penny will do...
If you hvaen't got a ha'penny?
Well, God Bless You


Bit off-topic, but...

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 01:48 AM

Thanks Clinton, consider the compliment returned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:23 AM

LH - "The USA is a paragon of righteousness only in its own deluded imagination...and a festival based on "greed, vandalism, and the occult" as GeorgianSilver puts it could hardly be more appropriate." - you may have a point there!!

Others - I asked the question simply because Halloween was virtually unknown in the UK when I was a kid in the '50s, but seems to be becoming big (and bad) 'business' here now. Coming, as it does, so close to our own 'Guy Fawkes Night' (or 'Bonfire Night' as we Yellowbellies know it) which commemorates a defining moment in the history of the UK and probably the world, and which also involves kids begging on doorsteps and making complete effing nuisances of themselves, I find it an annoyance that, like so many other annoyances - Ninja turtles, McDonalds, M*A*S*H, to name but a few - we've unfortunately imported from across the ditch. And yes, I hate it (just thought I'd drop that in Clinton, to confirm your judgment of me) - surely there must be far, far better reasons for kids to dress up and have 'fun' (fun for them maybe, but not for the poor sods who have to clean up the contents of their dustbins or retrieve their gate from the river). Dabbling in the occult isn't one of them IMO.

Wanker Johnny. :0)


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:44 AM

I recommend the following url---try it!

http://www.sundayherald.com/45635
BOAB


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:52 AM

excellent article, BOAB, thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 03:08 AM

What is up with these type of posts is my question.

Hell No, Halloween isn't rubbish. It's plain ass fun. The part of the rubbish about it is that people forget to have fun. They fear themselves maybe. Fear of make-believe and adventure in their own back yards.
Have you all forgotten what it's like to make-believe?

I went to a pre-party tonight and won first place in the costume contest. I love to dress up. I can be what ever I want to and play fun.
I can't wait for tomorrow night! HE-HE-HE-HE....


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 04:54 AM

Georgiansilver...Halloween or Samhain as we call it is the end of summer and the start of winter. We celebrate it as the end of one year and the start of another.....death and rebirth. It is one of the major festivals in our calender. Last night Micca and I had a few ...well there was 9 of us sat round the table, for dinner and merryment. Tonight we will be celebrating with the coven I belong to. I could go into more detail but I am sure there was thread on this last year and I fear I may flamed!

Halloween like any other festival is what you make it. If you chose to have fun...have fun. Perhaps sing the old year out and the new year in for us....


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 04:55 AM

sorry it should have rad...micca and I had a few friends round last night


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Sooz
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 05:05 AM

Johnny is right - Halloween was not celebrated or even marked in any way in the 50's or 60's in the area of the UK where I grew up. It is a much more recent hype.
Personally, I hate to see small children encouraged to beg from door to door. It doesn't seem to give the right sort of messages at all.

I can't agree with Johnny about M*A*S*H though - its still my favourite TV programme of all time


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Jeanie
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 06:05 AM

I don't know where Sooz and Johnny grew up, but I celebrated Halloween in the SW corner of Essex where I grew up in the 50s and 60s - though most definitely not in the commercialized way it is today. We didn't dress up in shop-bought fancy and expensive costumes or have parties or go from house to house begging for treats - it was much more of a private event at home, either alone or with a friend or two: apple bobbing, eating an apple hanging from a string with hands behind your back, peeling an apple in one long strip and throwing it over your shoulder to see the initial of your future husband or seeking the image of your future husband standing behind you reflected in a mirror in candlelight, creeping around the darkened house with torches scaring each other silly, then hoping to hear the swish of a witch or ghost whizzing by outside. Just apples and dreams, really - simple stuff.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Sooz
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 06:53 AM

I was brought up in Nottinghamshire Jeanie and I remember reading about bobbing for apples but thats as far as it went!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST,John O'Lennaine
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 07:33 AM

In Australia, up until about five years ago it was just something in American cartoons that no-one really understood, but now it has been picked up as being something saleable, so we've now got all the time-wasting and money-spending and annoyance, but none of the tradition.

And still no-one really understands it.

Except me. I googled it. It seems to be pretty much as catsPHiddle described it.

I also learned this:
Jack O'Lantern was an Irish kid who tricked the Devil into climbing a tree and then he carved a cross on the trunk and wouldn't let the devil down until he promised to stop tempting Jack.
When Jack died he couldn't go to Heaven because he had dealt with the Devil and he couldn't go to Hell because he had made a mug of the Devil, so he was left to wander the empty darkness eternally, and for this purpose was supplied with a candle. (By whom? And what did he expect to see with it I wonder?)
To shelter his precious candle he stuck it in a turnip, but apparently when the story arrived in America (or Jack himself?) pumpkins were more plentiful than turnips. Easier to carve too, I suppose.

I like that story, but Halloween itself, celebrated today, the way it's celebrated, yeah, that's rubbish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 09:58 AM

We've never agreed about M*A*S*H Sooz - but we agree about lots of other stuff so I can forgive you that one! LOL! :0)

Sorry you US-types, I'm not taking a poke at you personally, just at an event that's based in nasty stuff (and however the tree-huggers try to dress it up with airy-fairy notions of prancing around celebrating season-change, its roots are firmly based in the occult which is absolutely no place for kids to be), it encourages the basest practices of greed and extortion, it encourages vandalism and bad behaviour which many, especially the elderly, find extremely frightening, and it encourages children to put themselves in danger (by going out after dark and knocking on the doors of complete strangers).

Sorry to piss on your strawberries, but IMO Halloween's a crock of very unpleasant poo. I realise there are differences in cultures and maybe it's different in the US, but here it's just an excuse for hooligans to have free rein. And it's not a part of our culture so why do we have to tolerate it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:14 AM

Strollin' Johnny, I repsect your views but you obviously don't have a firm understanding of the occult,Witchcraft and Paganism. I grew up with Witchcraft and a practicing family and I know alot of people who are bringing their children up within that understanding and teaching here in the UK. Halloween to us is NOT about vandalism, greed, extortion and bad behaviour. Don't tar us all with the same brush, or disrespect our beliefs and festivals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Amos
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:29 AM

CP:

What is your perspective on this event? Does it actually have some sort of ancient roots? (Well obviously parts of it do).

Does it have any special meaning in your lexicon?

I grew up in a family of lapsed protestants who pursued affluence and culture in the Eastern United States through the Fifties and Sixties. Halloween was just a larky holiday that showed up before Thanksgiving which meant Christmas was just around the corner.

I enjoyed toting home chocolate (cf Joe Offer's thread). In my early teens I began to develop a certain amount of musical ability and my best Halloween ever was going house to house with a banjo-playing friend, trying to give him away as a treat. Seriously, we spent the evening playing for homes up and down the roads and it was a lot more fun than snarfing up Mars bars.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:51 AM

CP - Why would I have detailed knowledge of the occult, withcraft and paganism - I've never knowingly been involved with those who practice any of them. However, I respect you, your beliefs, and your right to celebrate your festivals insofar as you don't affect me by them (which I think is perfectly reasonable?). What I don't respect is the hi-jacking of one of your festivals by people who themselves have no concept of what it really means, and who use it as an excuse to behave badly, and allow children to put themselves in harm's way.

If you don't believe that happens, come and stay with Mrs. Johnny and me for a few nights - you can shell out the protection-money they demand at the door, or help to clear up the results of the retribution meted out when you don't cough up.

Whether you like it or not, Halloween is not synonymous in most peoples' minds with celebrations of season-change, harnessing unseen forces or whatever it is that it means to you - it's an excuse to let off large fireworks at unearthly times, beg for money and vandalise the property of those who won't pay up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 11:21 AM

Well, despite living only a stones throw from Jeannie, Halloween was never more than a passing mention when I was growing up. We used to bob for apples on bonfire night. I do recall we used to start school an hour later on the 1st November as it was All Saints Day and I also remember various tales about sitting in front of a mirror and throwing an apple peel over you shoulder and seeing your future spouse in the reflection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: dianavan
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 11:51 AM

Strollin Johnny - I am surprized that both Halloween and Guy Fawkes day are celebrated. In that case it seems that Halloween was imported as a purely, commercial event. Guy Fawkes day is not celebrated in Canada (at least to my knowledge) but the bonfire has probably been brought to us from England. In Vancouver, firecrackers are also a part of Halloween. When I was a kid in the States, I don't remember firecrackers at Halloween. Maybe this is a Chinese import.

Seems that these celebrations, drop some things and pick up others as time passes. Isn't this how tradition flows from one generation to the next? As far as begging for money goes - The only money that is requested is for children in less fortunate circumstances. Many of the children in Vancouver carry UNICEF boxes.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Peg
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 12:55 PM

Well, I just posted a long reply in the other thread (Wicca and Hallowe'en) so them what's interested in another witch's viewpoint (thanks Khatt!) feel free to fly your 'lil broomsticks on over there...

oh and just for the record I am kind of sick of people bashing things they don't know a goddamned thing about....


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 01:10 PM

There are two sorts of camps rubbishing Halloween. One is the anti-American contingency, who resent the fact that popular American holiday traditions are spreading to the historically British empire nations. The second group rubbinshing Halloween are the anti-pagan folk. There are a good number of Brits who fall in both camps. Why? Because in Britain it is very common to see the cultural traditions and holiday festivities of the Irish in particular, and the Scots a bit less so, as "beneath contempt".

Now then, to help those who are willing to help themselves understand the cultural forces warring over this holiday. Halloween, like the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday, are New World celebrations rooted in European ancestral worship celebrations.

Not in the "occult" as Strolling Johnny claims, or in "ancient pre-Christian pagan" worship.

Both Halloween and Day of the Dead are essentially American New World holidays, one unique to the US, one unique to Mexico.

Halloween has it's roots in Irish ancestral worship traditions, but the ways it has come to be celebrated in the US is purely American. Same with Day of the Dead.

Not "evil" worship. Not "occult" worship. Not "pagan" or "Celtic" worship. Halloween and Day of the Dead, as celebrated today, are American holidays rooted in the ancestor worship traditions of celebration of some American citizens' ancestors: the Irish and the Spanish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 01:14 PM

I forgot to mention that Catholicism is the common denominator here, NOT paganism. What the two holidays share in common is Catholic culture, and it's appropriation of the ancestral worship celebrations at the lunar new year in Ireland and Spain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:18 PM

"I am kind of sick of people bashing things they don't know a goddamned thing about...."

What about when people who DO know about it bash it?

:-P


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST,1:10 & 1:14
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM

I'm not bashing Halloween or Day of the Dead. I celebrate both American holidays. One with trick or treating, bonfires, and costume parties, the other (with the same costume) for the Day of the Dead parade in the Latino part of town.

A party is a party! And these parties are often a lot of fun, especially if weather permits being outdoors by a bonfire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: C-flat
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:28 PM

I don't mind the neighbours kids coming round to show us their scary outfits, my own daughter does the same, but I make a point of having sweet treats rather than handing out loose change on the doorstep.
As the nights draws on some of the bigger kids come round looking to seize on the chance of some extra cash and I make a special effort to save a few extra-dainty kiddy-sweets for them. But first I make them mumble the obligatory rhyme.......
Head down, feeling rather silly ..."The sky is blue......."

C-flat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:42 PM

Shaming the older kids like that is sick, and so is begrudging them of their fun on Halloween.

Why shouldn't they be allowed to celebrate just like the younger kids? Halloween is an all ages holiday. I always have enough to let EVERY kid, regardless of their hand size, take a HANDFUL of candy from the bowl. I hate it when the adults demonize the older kids as greedy (or worse) on Halloween.

Jeez, some of you people are really miserable sorts...


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 02:46 PM

Oh I make the older kids 'do the dance' as is were if they show up at my door... 'Singing the song' is part of it...

If you show up at my door with just your hand out, you'll get nothin'...

The important thing is, if yer gonna make the older kids act silly (it goes against the teen-gene) ya might have to be prepared to do it with 'em... Make it FUN... and make it O.K. to have fun BEING silly

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: English Jon
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 03:23 PM

Personally I reckon that it has no place in British culture - I gather it comes from a European Teutonic custom (Walpurgisnacht - night of the witches) and also the Latin American "Dia de Muertos". As far as I know there is no historical precedent for celebrating Halloween in the UK before the mid 20thC, so effectively it's an American custom, creeping into the collective consciousness of the English speaking world.

Nothing wrong with that, but it does seem a pity that we celebrate Halloween, but there is a decline in Indigenous English organised intimidation rituals such as plough monday, Bonfire night, Wassailing etc.

Also, are we making a cultural decision to accept Halloween into the English ritual calendar, or are the Card companies making it for us?

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 03:28 PM

All things change EJ...

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 06:31 PM

The Christian religion is itself absolutely riddled with occult teachings and practices of a really quite extraordinary sort...but this would not be apparent to Christians, because they are used to their own occult practices and take them for granted! :-) They only notice "the occult" when it falls outside the boundaries of what they know and take for granted.

And I don't blame the situation on Jesus at all! I admire and respect Jesus and his teachings tremendously. He is not to blame for the gross and weird things that have been done in his name all over the place. In fact, if he was here now (in the flesh, I mean) I don't think most of the Christian churches would like what he had to say one bit.

All organized religions contain occult teachings and practices of one kind or another...most of which goes fairly much over the heads of most of the congregation, who are basically concerned with outer forms and behaviours rather than deeper subtleties of religious thought and belief.

"Occult" does not mean "evil"...it means "hidden" (from the general view and understanding of average people in an average state of mind).


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Nemesis
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 07:15 PM

We used to celebrate Hallowe'en 30 odd years ago when I was a Girl Guide in Sussex - one of the whimsily named "patrol activities" .
Frankly, although I relished the "Devil's on Horseback" (A prune wrapped in a sliver of bacon with a cocktail stick thru it - Parkin was a week later for Bonfire night) I was none-impressed with the apple bobbing. .. as it meant a washing up bowl full of floating apples, contortions to pick them up with your teeth and, inevitably, lots of other people's snorty snot floating in the water.

Character forming though I suppose!

BTW (and not wishing to add or detract) (?)

Professor Brian Bates, Professor of Pyschology @ Brighton University, Professor of (award-winning) Shamanic Consciousness studies @ University of Sussex, senior advisor to the Ford Foundation on global indigenous people's wisdom (the preserving of), co-author of the "Human Face" with John Cleese, etc etc

his cult classic "The Way of Wyrd" based on preserved Anglo-Saxon spiritual teachings - 1,000 year old Wizard's spell book "The Lacnunga" at the British Library - is being reissued today (Hallowe'en)
and he's interviewed on www.bbc.co.uk/england/southerncounties on 7 November at 8am GMT (audio streaming)
Blessings Be


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: dianavan
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:11 PM

I've just had the first trick or treaters at my door. Happy and excited children who look great in their costumes! Whats more - they all said thank-you. Lots of firecrackers going on all around my house. Looks like mom and dad are out there with them. Its actually a family night out. How often are kids allowed to walk the streets after dark? I think its great.

d


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: frogprince
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:22 PM

The hours for the kids here ended a couple of hours ago; no firecrackers allowed here, otherwise just as dianavan just said; parents along with all the younger kids; no one expecting anything except a little candy, really just an excuse to make the rounds of the neighborhood in costume; all the kids polite as anything. Occult schmoccult, why pee on the kids parade.?


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Peg
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 10:36 PM

It was a very warm evening here in Boston and as I walked thru several adjoining neighborhoods on my way home, I saw many people sitting or hanging out on their front porches or stoops, waiting for the kids to stop by for Trick or Treat. These welcoming homes had plenty of lights, jack-o-lanterns and people in costume. It was all very pleasant and it was nice to see the kids out after dark for a change! I saw some cool jack-o-lanterns, a couple with Red Sox slogans or symbols, and one carved to say "Vote Kerry."

My bell was rung a few times but with my recent leg injury and living on the third floor I decided against welcoming in the trick or treaters this year...


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM

I don't mind anyone who seriously wishes to celebrate a religious event. But if it's not my religion, while you may wish me well of it, do not seek to disadvantage me by it (and by the way, to those in the USA - my stepdaughter works for Intel - who see the wish "Merry Christmas" as religiously insulting, a murrain on your houses).

Most organised religions are heirarchical con-tricks designed to enable an elite (heriditary or self-perpetuating) to con money out of the gullible - but that is the fault of the organisation not the belief system in most cases. Is there any evidence that "the old ways" are more or less true than more recent religions?

As to "Trick or Treat", however, certainly I had never heard of it (save as an odd thing that Americans did) until recently and I certainly object to the blackmail element of it.

Small kids - sweets.

Large kids with a threatening mien - dogs off chains.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 01:09 AM

Ritual begging in disguise, including somewhat threatening and coercive forms, are both well-attested in British and Irish tradition; mumming and Christmas Caroling are both examples of this (In "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," the carolers demand Figgy pudding and then quite clearly say that they will not leave until they get it, for example). For more on Mumming esp. in Ireland, I recommend Henry Glassie's work All Silver and No Brass.

EJ is wrong, too, that there is no precedent for Halloween celebrations in England prior to the mid 20th century. Indeed, there were special songs for begging "soul-cakes." Notes on these songs have included the following information

A.L. Lloyd:

The end of October and start of November is the time of Hallowe'en, All Saints and All Souls, a time once thought full of magic, when the dead temporarily returned to the world of the living and roamed around the villages on the misty evenings. Till recently in parts of the Midlands and the Northwest, children went from door to door begging for soulcakes. [These] were food for the momentarily-returning dead, so that they would not feel rejected and thus be made angry.


Paul Adams:

Souling is a visiting custom performed around All Saints Day (1 November) and All Souls Day (2 November). In the 20th century it has been mainly perfomed by children, but previously it was done by adults. The soulers would sing a song and get money, food or drink in return. The Watersons recorded another Souling Song on their Frost and Fire collection but have never recorded this version before.

Another version of the "Souling Song" appears in Roy Palmer's Everyman's Book of English Country Songs (Dent 1979).

As far as we can tell, this is how Hallowe'en came to be

1) originally there was indeed Samhain, which appears to have been a combination harvest/end of summer/new year for the Celts, particularly in ireland. In Irish sagas, the fairies and other supernatural beings (dragons, apparitions, etc) are particularly active at Samhain, and the supernatural tyrants the Fomorians come at that time to exact their tribute. This idea survived until early modern times in Scotland, where in the ballad Tam Lin the evil fairies ride in a troop on Halloween. There is little indication of how (or if) it was observed as a holiday in antiquity, but certain sagas (such as "The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel") suggest bonfires. Also, there is some indication that the Continental Celts also observed this holiday--a day called Samonios turns up on the Gaulish Coligny calendar at about the same time of year.

2) in the 6th Century Pope Gregory hit on the idea of incorporating rather than stamping out pagan holidays. Thus Samhain/Samonios became All Saints Day. It was supposed to be a time to celebrate all the saints, especially those who did not have their own dedicated feast day. From the middle English for Saint, "Halwe," we get "hallowed," and from All Halwes we get get all hallows. The night before this day became All Hallows Evening, or Hallowe'en for short.

3) the problem was, this religious saints fest was still being celebrated by many as a kind of day of the dead. So the church tried again to re-incorporate it, by creating All Souls Day, a day of commemorating the dead, on Nov. 2nd. This became Dia de Los Muertos in Mexican tradition. Also, election day for Americans!


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Moses
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 08:11 AM

The description of pleasant evenings spent on the front porch watching polite, festively dressed children visiting their neighbours who unbegrudgingly give sweeties and send them on their way with a smile seems a million miles away from the semi-thugs who leeringly rap on the door, eggs and flour-bags in hand mumbling menacingly "trick-or-treet"

I'm all for children (and adults) having fun but, in many parts of the UK at least, the "celebrations" have become an excuse for extortion.

I never let my children go trick-or-treating as I believed (and still do believe) that it is wrong to teach them it is OK to threaten old ladies (or anyone) with damage (however slight) to their property unless they pay up.

Actually, people can be frightened even without the threats. One Halloween I opened the door unthinkingly (we live in a fairly safe area and it was a long time ago) with my, then, pre-school daughter beside me and a fright-masked youth said "Boo". He thought it extremely funny but it took me a good hour and a half to calm her down and I was non too steady myself.

All in all I think the trick or treat side of Halloween is "rubbish".

Have a party at home, invite your friends, bob for apples, give prizes for the best costume etc but don't frighten or intimidate those who don't want to be a part of it.

I tell them (on the occasions that I am at home and open the door) that I don't believe that what they are doing is right and that they should come at Christmas and sing carols when I will (and I do) give them treats or money.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 02 Nov 04 - 01:20 PM

d - I wish I lived in such a gentle and civilised society as you seem to, must be nice. As Moses quite rightly says, over here Halloween is used as an excuse by morons to behave moronically.

Having said all that, we had a few visits on Sunday from nice kids in costume, mostly accompanied by parents (at a respectable distance so as to lend the kids a bit of scare-cred!) who were amply rewarded, but still had to warn off a number of ne'er-do-wells hell-bent on being arseholes. Maybe it's the same mentality at work that brings us football hooliganism and city-centre binge-drinkers?

But I still hate the idea of kids being taught to beg, or how to use threats as a means of enforcing a pay-off.

Is Halloween rubbish? In certain hands yes, in others maybe not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Is Halloween Rubbish?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 04 - 06:47 AM

Aggressive door to door begging. Rubbish - yes.

Didn't used to be like that which is rather sad. Sweet little kids in costumes etc was rather fun. Menacing teenagers with sacks of money and sweets isn't.


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