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Hi Tertia

We also live in a security estate in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. We had over 400, yes four hundred children trick or treating yesterday. The roads were full and most houses (80%) participated. It is big on our estate, even the security office was decorated with giant spiders, witch's hat so I suppose there are some places in CT that celebrate Halloween. I had 16 extra kids here that came for the trick or treating. Hopefully next year more people in your area will participate as in my opinion it is for the kids and great fun for them. The little ones looked so cute in their outfits. Have a good a day.
Take care x

It has something to do with years ago people dressed up so evil spirits couldn't recognise them, they lit jack o lanterns to ward off those same spirits. There is more to it than that, people need to get over themselves. We were brought up (in UK)to dress up, play games, trick or treat & just have fun. My family in UK sent costumes over for the kids so I thought I'd have a little halloween party for my kids, my 6 yr olds friends weren't allowed to come (yes it's a religious thing), & one little girl told her she was a satan worshipper. Anyhoo, I cleared that up with some choice words & my kids had a lot of fun, decorating the house & making cakes. Each to their own.

Any holiday where you dress up and get sweets sounds like a fab idea to me - sadly around here nobody seems to participate! :(

You'll have to come up to the big smoke in Jozi for Halloween next year! It actually has become rather big here! We trick and treated with about 1,000 others in a very large gated community north of jhb. Most of my friends all had halloween parties and trick or treating organised too.
I do believe it is a pagan ritual though, so the happy clapper, lordy folk may not approve. Don't quote me though, I'm not sure... ask sister Mel! x

When I say that I don't do trick or treat what I mean is I do not have sweets in the house to give out.

That is solely because if they were here, I would eat them - and I am never organised enough to have something on hand.

Here in Australia, many people see it as an Americanised tradition and there seems to be a lot of a negativity towards American traditions.

Well further down your coast line this American made a few inquires to interest and the teacher told me that most of the churches around here were against it - so my son couldn't dress up on Friday.

I had an idea to hold my own party on Saturday but between husband's work and people not being able to commit - I gave up.

In the US - church's host Halloween events - simply request nobody dress up as the devil.

Here in the U.S., there seems to be an informal tradition that those who want to participate by receiving trick-or-treaters should have some Halloween decorations out, and by the looks of my (typical) neighborhood, participants were less than 50%. Some of the lordy folk do disapprove of Halloween, thinking that it trivializes paganism and the occult, which the Bible warns against. The origins are a mish-mash of celebration of harvest (hence the pumpkins and apples), and various cultures' feast days observing saints and a smattering of "Day of the Dead" from Latin cultures. It's being bled dry of any real adventure or fun, of course, by merchandising and rampant paranoia about the dangers of taking candy from strangers. Which I think is a shame.

I think Halloween is just a distinctly American thing. It wasn't something I grew up with. There are a lot of kids in the complex where I live but there were no trick or treaters so I guess their parents didn't grow up with it either.

In the United States, not every neighborhood has a big halloween celebration. It seems that there has to be a certain critical mass of children and community-minded neighbors for it to work. I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of elderly homeowners. Some would have candy etc but most would turn out the lights and pretend not to be home. We would generally go trick-or-treating with friends in another neighborhood where the neighbors were more into it. Some neighborhoods aren't considered safe enough for trick-or-treating and community centers or churches will organize a party instead.

If you want trick-or-treaters, you would put a jack-o-lantern and/or halloween decorations outside your house. Some people do really elaborate cementary scenes complete with scary music in their front yards.
If you don't want trick-or-treaters (or you ran out of candy), you turn the visible lights off and have no decorations.

i am not the biggest fan of halloween, it's so very commercial in the US. (origin: day of the dead in latin america. i don't know about the anti-christian thing, but organised religion likes censorship, so that would not surprise me.) it's a huge thing here. last night, there were hundreds of people partying in the street until well after midnight. if a household wants to participate in trick-or-treating, the house is usually decorated (with a jack-o-lantern out front, for example), and in big buildings there is a list of participating apartments by the front desk. that way, there is no pressure, parents know where to take their kids, no one gets frustrated, and everyone is happy. i'm sorry you felt annoyed at your neighbors, but i do think this is a north american thing, and it's no wonder older residents of your gated community had no clue as to what was going on...

The origin of Halloween isn't the Day of the Dead in Latin America. It's the eve of All Saints Day (aka All Hallows Eve). Helen got it pretty close to right, and wikipedia, I'm sure, would give even more detail.

In any case, it's not a religious problem here. The christian churches are all for it. However, it's not really a religious thing at all.

It's basically a totally secular event with costumes, candy, parties, carved pumpkins, and celebrations of the spooky. That's it. A very small minority may put more into it than that, but really, that's all it is. The "it's pagan" objectors piss me off (and 'round here, they are pretty rare). Those people probably still have Christmas trees or Easter eggs, which are also pagan traditions.

I'm one who had the cemetery scene in my yard with a grim reaper and spooky music and lots of carved pumpkins and candy. The kids love it. It's a super fun time for everyone.

It is huge here in my town in New Jersey in the U.S. It is quite interesting. I live in a reasonably affluent town that borders a few quite poor towns. I am sure to the families who live in those poorer towns, our neighborhood appears to be even more affluent than it actually is, because I live in a historic neighborhood with quite large Victorian houses, etc. People put a lot of effort into making the houses look spooky, with elaborate Jack-o-Lanterns, fog machines, etc.

Parents from the poor areas drive their kids to my neighborhood for trick or treating in large numbers. I don't blame them, I would do the same if I lived where they live.

On a typical year with good weather, it would not be surprising to have up to 100 kids come to our house trick or treating, most of whom do not live in our town. Some people grumble about the car-loads of (mostly black) kids, and some people even turn out the lights, and refuse to answer the door, but I don't mind. It gives it a very festive atmosphere, with groups of kids in costumes going from house to house. And they are not stealing from us, or vandalizing the neighborhood, they are politely asking for a little candy. My kids love it; we went out last night with a group of about 10 kids and a bunch of adults. But it rained quite hard at points last night, so we had about half the number of trick-or-treaters we usually have, so I have tons of leftover candy, plus the candy the kids collected! I'm in big trouble with all that chocolate in the house.

HALLOWEEN - do you really know what it is all about??

This is a official notice from Acts Christian Centre:

On 31 October will be Blood and sexual rituals performed by Satanic covens around South Africa. There will be sexual orgies with demons, animals and humans. AND THERE WILL BE A HUMAN SACRIFICE - KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE ESPECIALLY YOUNG BOYS

October 22-29 - Ceremonial planning and kidnapping of sacrifice.
October 28 - Human sacrifice to enter into Halloween
October 31- Human sacrifice & sexual orgies with demons and animals and children - to attempt to enter the gates of Hades (hell)
November 1-3 - Human Sacrifice end of Halloween.
December 22 - Summer Equinox - Human and animal sacrifice - The birth of the sun god - through the goddess of the moon
December 25 - Male and female sacrifice

Do you realise the spiritual implications of Halloween?
And do you realise curses will be pronounced by Satan and his cohorts from 22 - 31 October?

The story behind the story
Knock, knock, knock..... you open the door and there stands one or more children standing in some sort of costume, highly excited and all screaming at the top of their lungs...."TRICK or TREAT", with out knowing the meaning of what they are saying or doing.

As an adult, do you know what Halloween represents? Most people are ignorant of what Halloween is all about and for that matter don't care. I grew up trick or treating like most kids in America and never knew what it was all about. We even had a haunted house in the attic of the little country church attended! I was like most kids in the fact that all I wanted to do is get as much candy as I could and would do what I had to do to get it!! Including fighting with my brothers and sisters to be the first at the door....Every year I was the devil. I had the most evil, horrible, grotesque, rubber mask that was ever made. I had a pitchfork and my precious mother even sewed me a long pointed tail on my red suit.

We all have stories to tell of Halloween, but do you really know what it is all about??

If all you know of it is what I have described above, you may want to read a little further and find out more info about what you are celebrating. Now if you are a pagan you know exactly what it is, if a Christian you are involved in something God forbids and if you just a "good ole boy or girl" you don't care


Witches after Halloween
Harmless Fun?
A Seductive Bridge Between Two Cultures

Where did it begin?
It began over 2000 yrs ago with people known as the Celtics. They lived in what is today England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This was also the beginning of the Celtic new year, a time to give thanks to the sun god for the harvest.

What is it all about?
Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called "lord of death". It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.

It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.

Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living...But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.

To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.

In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, this is the day when Satan himself comes to "fellowship" with his followers. Many changes have occurred over the centuries, but one thing ha stayed the same, the practice of giving an "offering" has stayed the same. Oh we do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning? Is it still the same as in the old days? I say the answer is YES.

The Christian Connection
The celebration in the Roman Catholic Church, which was later to merge with Samhain, was known as All Saints' Day. All Saints' Day originated in the 7th century when the Pantheon at Rome was wrested from the barbarians, made into a cathedral, and renamed the Church of the Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs. Thus, from honoring "all gods" (which is the meaning of the Greek word "pantheon") the Pantheon became the center for glorifying all saints.

This day that honored all the "hallowed" saints was first observed on the evening of May 13, and was known as the All hallows festival. The day was officially authorized in 835 by Pope Gregory IV after it was moved to November 1 to coincide with Samhain. It began on the evening of October 31, which was called

All Hallows Eve.
Thus, without forcing the pagans to drop their pagan practices and accept Christianity, the Roman Catholic church merely made room to accommodate the barbarians.

Just as it confiscated the pagan Pantheon for its own uses, this church incorporated the customs of Samhain to further its mission to convert the known world to Catholicism. The two celebrations made strange bedfellows: one in respect of evil spirits, the other honoring "saints."

Nevertheless, the joining of the two celebrations produced a hybrid of beliefs about what was supposed to happen in the spirit world. Souls in purgatory appeared as witches and toads to persons who had wronged them. Halloween fires took on a new meaning and now were used to comfort souls in purgatory as people prayed while holding burning straw in the air.

Even the idea of trick-or-treating by evil spirits took on an acceptable church flavor: costumed children went around on All Souls Day offering to fast for the departed souls in return for money or an offering.

As the Celts converted to the new religion, they did not forget their stories of the dead traveling to the afterworld on Halloween. Rather, exhibitions of this night became more evil and the observance adopted even more malicious overtones.

Where do Witches, Black cats and Jack-O-Lanterns fit in?
In America it's a pumpkin, but in Europe it was often a turnip, large beet, potato, rutabaga or even a skull with a candle in it. The fearsome face of the jack-o-lantern was representative of the god of the dead, Shamin, who would drive off less powerful evil spirits abroad that night. As glimmering lights flickered over an English marsh or an Irish bog, people imagined dead souls had returned to earth. They would place the jack-o-lantern on posts and in windows to ward off the spirits of the dead on Halloween.

The word jack-o-Lantern is an abbreviation of "Jack of the Lantern." Jack is another name for joker or Satan. In the Irish tale, a man named Jack was fond of playing tricks on the devil. Annoyed, the devil tossed Jack a burning coal from hell. With the coal in his "lantern" Jack was condemned to walk the earth forever searching for rest.

The jack-o-lantern is a Halloween idol that keeps alive an ancient symbol of demonic superstition.

Witches and Black Cats
A pagan practice that was not eradicated upon the coming of Christianity was witchcraft. The word "witch" comes from the Anglo-Saxon Wicca, or "wise one." Witches were thought to be possessors of magic.

Witches, who worship the deities of nature, have living talismans or symbols through which they derive their dark powers. They invoke evil spirits to enter the bodies of their talismans. Some have dogs, owls, snakes or swine for their talismans, but the most common are cats.

The broomstick is a symbol of the male organ, on which the witch mounts and leaps high around the fields to "teach" the crops how high to grow. The notion of flying witches relates to the fact that witches believed they could fly great distances to their feasts by smearing their bodies with ointments containing drugs. The drugs gave them psychedelic "trips" making them think they flew.

Witchcraft is demonic worship in diametric opposition to the worship of the Heavenly Father Yahweh. Yahweh minces no words about it. He told Israel through Moses, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" (Ex. 22:18). He says in Deuteronomy 18:10, "There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch."

Cats have been closely associated with mystery religion from the Egyptians to the Norse. But the Celts had a particular fear of cats, believing they were humans who had been changed into feline form by evil powers. The black cat particularly was connected to demonic powers.

Black cats are the chief idol of the goddess of Wicca, Diana. In legend, she turns into a black cat to commit incest with her brother, Lucifer. Eventually the Druids themselves came to be regarded as witches. Witch hunting during Halloween became almost a national pastime in the colonial years of our nation. But that was yesterday. Halloween is regarded as the high "Sabbath" for practicing witches today.

Orange, black, and red, the devil's colors, are the colors associated with Halloween. Black prefigures black magic and demonic influence. The black of night is when these forces of evil are busiest, using the cover of darkness for their sinister works.

Skulls and Skeletons
The skeleton is a form of the god of the dead, the witches' "horned god." The Dictionary of Satanism by Wade Baskin says this about skulls and skeletons under "skull worship": "Skulls play an important role as sacred relics and as objects of worship among primitives. Among Polynesians and Melanesians, skulls of ancestors are worshiped in order to establish connections with the spirits of the dead. Like the head of Osiris in Egypt, the skulls of ancestors may also serve as tutelar deities. The head or its parts, each of which may stand for the whole, can be used as magical food or as a means of increasing the fertility of the soil." Under "Skull," the Dictionary of Lore and Legend says, "Symbol of death, often with crossed bones beneath."

Fire Rites
Being that Halloween is a Celtic new year's festival, many of its surviving rituals trace to the Celtic feast. The fire rite was practiced in many areas around the world on the night before the new year. The old fire was allowed to go out and a new one was kindled—usually a sacred fire from which the fires of the village were relit. The fires were thought to rejuvenate the waning sun and aid in banishing evil spirits. The Druids built hilltop fires to celebrate important festivals. Ghosts and witches feared fire, it was thought, and so fire became the best weapon against evil spirits. Witchcraft was punished by burning at the stake, fire being used as a means purification. The light that fires gave off was a sign of sacredness.

Apple Bobbing
Popular at Halloween parties is apple bobbing. It was a means of divination among the Druids and survives in cultures influenced by the Celts. Because the apple is also a common love charm, the practice of ducking for apples seems to have been associated with the selection of a lover. Apple bobbing was originally a fertility rite deriving from the Christmas observance, which was replete with various fertility rites.

Is Halloween a TRICK or TREAT?
Most absolutely a TRICK. As you can see from all the above the real meaning of Halloween has been watered down. It is Satan's objective to get all to worship him. God tells us to not have any thing to do with this.

Deuteronomy 18:10, "There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch."

Peter I 5:8 Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.

If you are a professing Christian, you have no reason to be part of this holy day of Satan. Don't use the old cop out "well everybody does it". No everybody is not doing it. God will hold you responsible for what you do this Halloween. Will you go ahead and participate in it? Or will you pass along the word and let someone know what the real meaning is.

As people have mentioned before, Halloween is based on All Hallows Eve, which was the one night of the year when the spirits of the dead could come back and walk the earth again, and the costumes and jack o lanterns are meant to ward off the evil spirits. Some religious people get twitchy about it, but the day after Halloween is All Saints Day which is a recognized feast day in the Catholic and Episcopal churches, and Day of the Dead in Latin American cultures where the saints and specifically dead ancestors are honored.

Here's an article about the history that ran in our local paper today:


As is fairly common in America, it has become so commercialized that people don't even realize what it's about anymore, so they just tend to react by disapproving.

Our neighborhood participates though, and I love taking my daughter out trick or treating. It's a night to socialize with all the neighbors, and I always loved it as a kid :-)

Wow. Elleznom thanks for the "history" lesson, you might consider getting over yourself. That whole "Thou shall not judge" thing applies to Halloween as well.

In the US, Halloween (like most holidays) has been commercialized for mass consumption and most everyone is alright with that. Only nutters (see long rant several comments above) believe it means anything more than putting on crocodile outfits and requesting enamel-rotting goodies of the neighbors. :) I have some friends who get quite caught up in decorating for Halloween; one friend converts his entire house into a floor-to-ceiling haunted crypt for his annual Halloween party. I am more of a Christmas girl. Which is also pretty commercial here in the US. The associated religious significance of Christmas is more obvious, but it's more or less another holiday wherein you put out decorations, dress up (in nice clothes for this one), and throw a party with a shit-ton of food and presents. We have some relatives who show up at our family parties muttering about "putting the 'Christ' back in 'Christmas'" but wouldn't you know, they expect to receive presents and pig out on party food, too. And just for you, nutter commenter above, Christmas is also supposedly a mix of Christian (hence the name?) and pagan traditions. As in, Jesus was supposedly actually born in the summer. And the tree is supposedly actually a fertility/harvest offering to the gods. I just know I throw a mean Christmas party, eat like a heifer, and get kickass gifts.

for me it's all a huge waste of time. but the kids seem to enjoy walking for a few blocks and dressing up in frilly things that have lights in them. the candy will be gone in a few days. it's fallen off where i live, with the advent of serial killers and razor blades in candy. the kids no longer go by themselves -- with little kids you see the parents hovering at the street ... and later in the night, you get older thugs, you see the parents IN THEIR CARS in the street.

Sigh. (referring to the essay written above by elleznom).

Just spoke to a friend of ours at a picnic today who is about to move in two houses from us. I think we're going to "Halloween friendly" our street/close neighbourhood. Unfortunately security is a bit of a biggy here and you kinda have to walk all the way with the kids, but I really think it is such a nice thing for the kids. Candy as much as you can carry (even if it comes at the cost of looking ridiculous...). I'll have to keep my husband locked up in the basement that night otherwise he'll eat everything... Perhaps yer problem is your positioning with regards to the boerewors curtain ;) think the southern suburbs may be more, eh, heathenish?

She asked what it was about, I just copied and pasted the info from an e-mail I received earlier this week, that's all... Although, I don't agree with the concept and won't participate, each to his own.

I love halloween. It's my favorit!!! Hate Christmas. Here in Montreal (Canada) it's a great time, hundreds of kids in the street. Loads of decorations. We only walk 2 streets and we have a bag full of candies. I really think that those against Halloween are crusty old fart that can just wait to die and go to heaven to play harp or something as fun!!! And I am not talkig about their age, you can be a crusty old fart at any age.

Harsh...meh!!! Probably but I do not care enought.

If by "to each his own" you mean, "if you want to burn in eternal hellfire, be my guest." When you included the sentiment "God will hold you responsible for what you do this Halloween" after a series of preachy bible passages at the end of your rant (whether or not copied innocently from an email you received), it smacked of being both A) nutty and B) judge-y. It implied you do, in fact, agree with the content of the comment, or else you could have just said "I don't like Halloween 'cause it's sort of pagan-ish and that's not cool with me." Anyway, like I said, to Tertia's question directly (and in agreement with most Americans), Halloween in the US (and it seems everywhere else) is just another secular holiday for which you shell out some money on a plastic costume and fill yourself and your kids with sugar. Amen.

All Hallow's Eve, as has been explained. We're in the South, and in my (non-church going) experience, the local Christians prefer to label festivities around this time "Harvest Festivals" so that kids can dress up and such, but Halloween can be left off the posters. Even in the states, your mileage will vary by neighborhood.

Tertia, it even translates into a reason to throw a party, my kids went to three different costume parties last night in three different cities. One went as a character in the tv show Sons of Anarchy, one went as Lucy in the comic strip Peanuts and one went as the invisible man. The holiday has taken a beating due to the religious effort to demonize the holiday but it still continues in a more modern form, that includes neighborhood parties and more organized trick or treating than when I was a kid.

Hey T-Bird. Halloween is a definite no-no on the Christian calendar. It is by far one of the worst events on the Satanic calendar. Elleznom got all the facts right, and as mentioned, everyone unto his own. But as a Christian, it is not celebrated and even though kids are too young to understand the meaning behind it, my view is that children should not be exposed to something like that. Just my view and how my Christian friends bring their up children.

Sigh. I live in the US, in NJ actually. I dressed myself up and my 2 year old daughter up yesterday and we did go trick or treating. We also went to a Halloween party thrown by friends. It's about the fun for the kids, religious stuff aside. I'm Catholic, attended private school up til high school, and we had Halloween parades and Halloween festivities going on inside the school. I love this holiday, it's about dressing up and having fun. I honestly think people need to relax, but that's just my opinion.

I had the exact opposite experience in Sea Point. The party shops were packed with ppl buying costumes and treats. Kids were trick or treating and the neighbours were handing out sweets. When I used to live in the S Suburbs there were always kids walking around and ppl handing out candy.
My reaction was that I did not know that Halloween was so big in SA.

First of all, Satan is a Christian concept and the origins of Halloween predate the introduction of Christianity to Great Britain. There is nothing sinful about it, no blood rights, no sacrifices, nothing. Just kids having fun. Kinda like the Jewish Purim.

Secondly, in the U.S., most Christians do celebrate Halloween (as do most Jews, etc.). Some churches will do Halloween at the church to be sure the kids are 'safe'. Some really fundamentalist churches have created 'hell houses' in response to haunted houses; hell houses have scary scenes acted out showing what happens to you if you sin. Of course, those churches also tend to believe that evolution is a lie and dinosaurs are a trick by scientists to destroy religion.

I personally find trick or treating and other Halloween activities to be fun and harmless. On the other hand, dragging kids through scenes of rape, abortion and other consequences for 'sins' can be pretty traumatizing and I will kick the ass of anyone who takes my boys to one.

Oh and there is no Satanic calendar unless it has been made up by the Christian church.

No group worshipped satan.. that's just a myth. Pagans weren't satanic, they were pagan.

We pretended with the trick or treating last night. The kids dressed up, took buckets and knocked on our own front door, got sweets then ran around the house to the patio door and did the same... about 4 times.
Next year, we'll go to a proper event. We don't live in an estate anymore, so it's impossible to do

I am a pagan, I can say quite plainly that we do not believe in the existence of satan, much less worship said; it is a completely foreign concept. Paganism is so entrenched in Christian rituals, most Christians who get upset by that statement would probably be surprised themselves if they only knew to what extent. That said, ignorance is no excuse to criticise others.

If my Christian upbringing and memory serve me correctly, I'm pretty sure it says somewhere in the Christian bible: "Judge not, lest thou be judged"... it's the whole casting the first stone, or glass houses and stones thing, or the log and splinter in the eye thing. All of us, no matter what we believe, would do well to remember that. The minute any of Gods laws are broken, it is, in effect, sinning and passing judgment on others would amount to that.

Let children be children, live and let live.

Surely all people, no matter your belief system, are not here to point fingers nor criticise others; nor harm, nor convert, nor indoctrinate, perhaps we have become so arrogant in our chosen set of beliefs that we overlook the fact that not any one of us is any better than another.

I could give a great deal of detail about the origins of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, but in essence, it is a celebration marking the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter (obviously pertinent to the Northern Hemisphere), that is the short of it, that is all that really matters, it is a celebration of the change of season, not some evil sacrificial thing.

To those who don't know about such celebrations, do your own research before blindly critising and judging; only don't research in an area where material is specifically religiously prescribed or written because common sense will instinctively alert us to the fact that any such material will bare bias on everything which goes beyond it's own prescription.

To seek knowledge is not a sin and think of it this way, if you are armed with knowledge, it can only give you material to defend you own argument, a good thing in any debate.

We all need to remember that the only good in this world is peace, love and happiness and that is what we should be focused on spreading or sharing.

Halloween as it is currently celebrated, encourages those very things, it teaches children giving and receiving, it teaches them goodwill to others, to complete strangers and it probably teaches them to share too, how bad can that really be?

Sorry so long and I know that the very people who would learn from reading this will probably never get to see it.

It saddens me to think, that for one night, when children might feel free to go knocking on strangers doors or free to walk unhindered in the streets of a country where violence is an every day occurrence that we will find another way to ruin it for them. Think of the world we grew up in and consider how nice it would for our children to have even one brief taste of it... we should have more such celebrations in my opinion.

Hey, we MUST be related! I did a post on this too before I read this. Next year come with us, we had lots of fun.

Thank you, Lisa! Sheesh. Satanism is 99.99% myth. Supposed incidences of Satanic groups have generally been disproved as hysteria. There are a few screwed-up teens and adults who like to feel big and bad by calling themselves Satanists but even they are generally pretty benign. I have never heard of a genuine case of human sacrifice. Halloween certainly does have pagan origins but, as Lisa said, although pagans were not Christians they weren't necessarily evil. Also, in medieval and earlier times there was a lot of conflation between Christianity and paganism, and even Christians had some popular [i.e. not approved by the church but widely practiced] practices, charms, and rituals that would make most people's hair curl today. And, as others have noticed, there is a lot of conflation between the pagan and Christian traditions over Easter and Christmas as well. I'm a pagan and we assign certain significances to Halloween (Samhain) that largely have to do with it being, in the northern hemisphere anyway, a time when the year turns toward winter and darkness.

But as for kids going trick-or-treating it's all about the costumes and the candy, and that's all it should be. I did see a local Catholic church here had posted warnings on their website about the occult influences of Halloween. I would be surprised if it was religious objection in your area though since from your prior posts it's sounded like religion is not as controversial a topic in your part of the world as in ours? Either way it's very interesting to read how differently Halloween is celebrated (or not) in various parts of SA and even Capetown. It probably doesn't have quite the same feel since it's your spring, huh? Maybe next year

Hallowe'en isn't just American - it's Scottish and Irish too. We called it 'guising' not trick or treating when I was a child. I expect the Americans got it from us.

the way I understand -- Halloween did have things about it that makes Christians twitchy (I'm a Christian) -- but these days, it really is just harmless fun, dressing up etc, so nothing to get spooked about (pun intended). The thing is, it's very much an American tradition, and has come very late to South Africa, so we S'africans don't get it. There's not the interest and fun that there is in the States. So that's probably why your neighbours were unprepared etc. Maybe next year you could make more of a thing of it in your estate? Like, the kids go trick or treating, and then everyone gets together for a braai afterwards? And the Old Fogies could invite their grandchildren. Or something.

Oops I didn't finish. I was going to say, maybe next year you should go to Dominique's neighborhood!

Also, Clare is correct, Halloween is a holiday of UK origin. Wikipedia doesn't have a great sum-up but it's ok.


Oh boy that is funny! That long part about satan!!! I was cracking up about the CRAZY.

Most people in Seattle dress up, go to family parties and a little neighborhood or school trick or treating.

Every year my church does Trunk n Treat. basically have cars park in the lot, and kids go from car to car and get candies. All of the cars are decorated with Halloween decorations. It is loads of fun, kids get candies and also safer for them.

Hallowe'en - Samhain - All Saint's Day - Day of the Dead - has many roots. Modern American traditions come from some or all of them.

We celebrate Hallowe'en Irish style in America, to get a treat at my house, you must first do a trick, next year we're posting a sign so there's no confusion. Hallowe'en is about celebrating the scariness and the thin line between the worlds, at least I do, the kids dressed up and ate candy.

It's an ancient festival, it's been commercialised but that is no reason not to mark the occasion your own way, don't buy the shit and they'll stop selling it or at least modify it.

It's also a festival that deserves a fire.

I think some of the commenters here would pass out something horrible like pencils, toothbrushes, or bible tracts. Maybe it's a good thing that they *don't* participate.

We had great fun doing this as kids. Both my boys enjoyed T&T until nearly high school. I'm going to take my grandbabies.

There's only been one case of document candy tampering here in the US, and it was done by the child's own mother.

I live in a pretty religious neighbouhood in the US, therefore not every house has Halloween decorations out. I make my children knock only at the doors that have at least a carved pumpkin out, and they are about one every four houses. That is already a lot of candy!! However, even those neighbors who abhor Halloween as a pagan evil festival have some candy for the children, i.e., everyone is nice and does not disappoint children. Older children know that, and they will knock at every house anyway!
Here in California there is another type of people concerned about Halloween: the health conscious. They want to participate in Halloween but they will give children only apple juice or water, or sometimes glow sticks and little gifts because they think sugar is bad for children. These houses are like 'pit stops' where tired children full of candy can stop to quench their thirst. Overall, everyone is nice, whether they agree with the festivity and the candy or not.

Thanks to Lisa, Andrea, and L. for clarifying "pagan" vs. "Satanic." Thank you! Let's interject a bit of common sense into some of the overblown rhetoric offered by the religious right. I am reading these comments just wondering what Tertia is going to think of all of us crazy Americans! I celebrated Halloween with my son last night. First there was a HUGE parade in town, so we got to see lots and lots of people dressed up in costumes, which was a lot of fun. Then we went trick-or-treating. It was really fun to see how people decorated their houses, and it was very sweet to see how they interacted with my son. The only downside, as far as I'm concerned, is all of the candy and sugar! I have one question for Tertia--why were you bringing treats? Here, the treats stay at the house, and the kids come up to the door w/ their bag, say "trick or treat!" and hold out their bag to receive the candy.

Here in Canada (from my experience) it is also rather popular although last night was rather quiet with only about 30 kids coming by. We decorate the outside of the house and yard with spooky things and in years past my kids would go out in the neighbourhood trick or treating. This year marks the first year none of them went due to age. Fun silly holiday for us and so fun to see the little ones come in their costumes :)

All the historical and religious connotations? Not an issue.

Well, first I got out my vial of blood and drew a pentagram on the floor, lit it with candles, and sacrificed a goat. Then I dressed my 3 year old up like a cheerleader, and the baby like a pumpkin, and took them trick or treating. When we got home, we sacrificed another goat, watched the world series, and drank some wine. My husband bit the head off a live chicken, but I had chili.

Just another typical night here in paganland.

[I love Halloween. And now that I have kids, and have stopped dressing up in ridiculous slutty costumes, it's even more fun. The look on my daughter's face last night when she realized that every. single. house. was giving her candy was precious. She could not believe her good luck.]

I am a huge fan of Halloween. When I was little, my mother and grandmother made my costumes, they were always quite beautiful and detailed. I love this time of year, I remember all the fittings and the sound of the sewing machine and the excitement of seeing my costume take shape. Not to mention the actual night, all the beautiful and strange pumpkins and decorations out, and of course loads and loads of candy.

Every year there are several haunted houses in my immediate area, and the three biggest theme parks in Florida host Halloween events that start in September.

This year I went Trick or Treating with my goddaughter and her friend. Participation on my street was very down. I would say 1/3 of houses participated, if that. It was disappointing for me (the kids did not notice, in fact they were having the best time ever, they were so excited!). I sort of feel the past few years Halloween has been really co-opted by adults as another drinking sort of holiday, like St. Patrick's Day, but with costumes. In fact Trick-or-Treating was postponed in Key West this year til Monday, because of an elaborate and extremely adult celebration held in October called Fantasy Fest. After the kiddie stuff I went downtown last night and there were THRONGS of drunken 20-somethings, myself included, in costumes. It was the busiest I have ever seen it. All this coupled with the amount of costumes in the costume store that make strippers look like conservative dressers, and I feel sad about what the holiday is becoming down here. Yes, a little drinking and revelry is always welcome, but I feel like some of the fun is being taken from the kids.

Halloween has nothing to do with religions. It is just an annual thing for me.

Halloween is HUGE around here (Western NY)!!! In fact, it's my family's favorite holiday.
Every October my parents turn their huge front lawn into a cemetery and their 3-car garage into a haunted house that rivals any professional haunt. We accept donations when people come through and give all proceeds to local children's programs and hospitals. Over 8 years we've raised around $35,000.
We LOVE getting dressed up and trick-or-treating as well!!

I am extremely fond of Halloween. Where I grew up, we had nearly 100% participation of homes in giving away candy, and lots of fun.

A few people would give away Christian comic books instead of candy -- I remember one of them quite well -- it was called "Up from Harlem," and it was absolutely shocking to a very sheltered child.

Here's a PDF of it -- have fun! http://www.carpsplace.com/spire/Up%20From%20Harlem.pdf

Just wait a few more years and it will catch on. 10 years ago a few people vaguely connected pumpkins with Halloween in Germany. Apparently by now it has caught on and there are parties starting to pop up. As for the US - I have lived in various neighborhoods and it was always very different. Sometimes no trick or treating whatsoever, in my current neighborhood it is huge. It is so big that people will drive their kids here to trick or treat. You should do the same thing. Reconnect with your old neighbors and go trick or treating with them in that neighborhood.

I think Halloween is just starting to spread to countries other than the US. But anyway, not knowing much about South Africa, I would imagine that it's a bit "too dangerous" (from a perspective of crime) for this type of holiday. Would people be willing to open their doors to dozens of dressed up strangers?

Kate looks very cute!

I had an interesting conversation with a mum of 3 kids aged 7, 5 and 3 years. She was a little annoyed that her 5 year old came home from school last week expecting his mum to organise costumes and trick or treating for Halloween. They had obviously been talking about it in class as part of their studies related to Celebrations (commonly studied in Term 4 leading uop to Christmas in Australia). She spoke of it as being and "American" thing, as in something that is therefore "un-Australian" - somebody mentioned before that there tends to be a tendency to steer away from American traditions.
A couple of kids wandered up and down our street on Saturday night, but that's it. Houses weren't decorated, pumpkins weren't carved. Yet, certain stores had costumes and decorations galore! I suspect, given another 5 or 10 years, Australia will be celebrating Halloween more. I am suprised we don't already, given our strong Irish and Scottish heritage due to colonisation.
Give it another go next year Tertia - maybe your neighbours will be prepared next time.

Ag nee man! and all you wanted to know was do you or dont you DO Halloween. I forgot (which says much about our neighbourhood), but next year I will remember (I Hope). My BFF is an American and she is going to buy us costumes in the USA on her next visit. I think I'll dress up as your very best friend Suzzaannnaa - Will scare the shit out of everybody!

Catholic, costume-wearing, candy-giving, Christian in the South US here. We used to dress up in costumes at my Catholic schools. The only reason we didn't "DO" Trick or Treat this year is because I have a horrible respiratory infection and the first batch of kids that came to the house stole all the candy. I left the candy in a bowl outside so that the kids could have candy without me coughing and sneezing all over them. I had to turn my lights out 15 minutes into Halloween. A curse on those rotten kids who had to ruin it for the rest of them.

I sent my kids off ToT-ing with the neighbors on their golf cart. More candy, faster if you're motorized. Jake was Darth Vader and Anna Kathryn was Sleeping Beauty. I love Halloween!

Just had Halloween in my first house -- went all out turning porch into a scary forest, complete with a plastic talking skeleton. Kids loved it. People next door had fake vultures wired onto their shrubbery around some styrofoam "tombstones." Great fun. "God" must be laughing its ass off at the ignorance of certain of these comments. Thanks also to those clarifying the difference between paganism and Satanism.

We live in a gated community as well... Lots of older people too... We only had about 10 kids come up. But it was fun none the less.

Halloween is just fun. As for all those people who think its satanic or something evil, I tend to think that christianity is a contagious mental illness, whith disliking a childrens holiday as just another symptom of the disease.

I suppose halloween has been blown up and commercialized over the years. Most everything does. Every year chirstmas is advertised a bit earlier etc. Retailers want to make the most of any selling opportunity in the US.

"Here in Australia, many people see it as an Americanised tradition and there seems to be a lot of a negativity towards American traditions."

the thing about american traditions, even if you find it over the over the top and vulgar, is that they are just that. American things. You dont have to participate if youre living in Australia and its not the norm. Just because we have baby showers, wedding showers, and make a big deal of halloween does not mean you have to. and its not our fault that many people feel compelled to do so !

I have *no clue* why anyone would want to adopt this holiday. Its roots are pretty nasty; and the retailers make yet another fortune out of us, but each to his own. As for me and mine we will give it a swerve.

Wow, I read most comments. I guess you did ask. Like any other "holiday" it depends on the people or place (location). We do Halloween, but try to keep it from being too scary. Our little one has been a doctor, a cowboy, a dragon, and an astronaut. We usually let him hand out candy for about an hour and then one adult will take him around a few blocks. If a front door or porch light is on we knock. Some people do not want to be bothered by it and some take it for all it's worth. Haunted houses that charge $ for a scary tour are common as well as going to pumpkin patches for pumpkins and hay rides. Some churches offer Halloween parties, "Fall Festivals" or costume parties. In the USA everyone knows about it, but it depends on what the person or location believes Halloween represents. We also attend a costume party at the local children's museum. They offer prizes and games for children young and old. A lot of parents dress in costumes also. As a family, we celebrate Halloween as dressing up, giving and receiving candy, and being social.

Damn! The orgies ended on the 31st!! I need a day planner so I can stop missing out on the important stuff!

I've always loved Halloween, celebrated every year, and my parents are devote Catholics.

I am trying to keep my kids away from the commercialized costumes. 1/2 the boys in my son's preschool class were spiderman, the others were batman or transformers, and the girls were disney princesses. My son was a shark, and he was the only animal... My 11 month old was a bear, and she got tons of candy in our neighbourhood, even though we only went to 15 houses!

My take is Halloween is a fun excuse to enjoy giving the kids a little fun.

IMHO some people take them selves way too seriously. But don't rain on my parade, just turn off your porch light and I won't bother you.

My vision of God is that he has a bit of a sense of fun! As for roots... Check out the scolarly studies of when Jeasus was actually born... not even near aligned with when we celibrate his birth.But I"m not taking on the church to get it changed...

anna said

"Damn! The orgies ended on the 31st!! I need a day planner so I can stop missing out on the important stuff!"

hahaha ,, you and me both !

Not really an Australian thing - for instance, my father and father-in-law absolutely hate the idea of it because it's so "American". That seems to be the attitude of a lot of people, not hating Americans so much, but the Americanisation (consumerism, mostly) of our culture.

Also, it's another one of those holidays that really has no modern day connection to its roots. Ok, so maybe if 5-year-olds were joyfully sacrificing goats I would say it was a terrible holiday. But they're not, they're getting dressed in cute costumes and getting free lollies, big deal. By doing this they aren't agreeing to a contract that says that they are now in with the devil and trying to hitch a ride to hell. It's just candy. Relax, guy. Same with Christmas - don't really care about what it means, I just love Christmas trees, cooking a big meal, giving gifts (yes, commercialism strikes again!) and spending time with my family. People can do whatever they like, however they like, whenever they like, for what ever reason they choose! Get off your high horse and stop deciphering their life choices to make you feel superior. Get a real hobby!!

Halloween is the holiday for witches and warlocks. They celebrate this day with stuff like kidnapping small children and scarifying them to their "lord".

This is also a holiday day which satanism is popular. They do their rituals on this particular evening. This holiday day have everything to do with Satan.

Therefor this holiday is against the believes of Christians and that is why you get so many people who do not celebrate it or when the kids knock at the door and they get no-one which answers.

We as a family do not celebrate this holiday at all.

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