Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trick or Treating?

In not too long, Americans will be celebrating the ghoouulisshhh feast of Halloween. What will you be doing?

I am well aware that most Orthodox are told not to celebrate Halloween because of its pagan roots. I know many Orthodox who don't. But I also know many that do.

In the past we have not celebrated Halloween, but this year we are. My reasoning: I see nothing counter-cultural through simply abstaining from celebrations. I think true counter-culture actions are ones that seek to transform. What better thing can we do then to do our best to transform Halloween into something holy?

I'm not sure yet what that will entail in the years to come. Western Christians have the advantage of celebrating All Saint's Eve on Halloween in anticipation of their feast day. We Orthodox do not. However, there is always a time and place to celebrate Christ's victory over death and what better time than Halloween to do just that.

For those of you looking for wholesome ways to celebrate Halloween, below are some ideas. If you are not celebrating Halloween, feel free to talk more about why in the comments.

  • An appropriate opening to any celebration of this holiday will be to sing a triumphant song. Although it is NOT pascha, I do think the paschal song is appropriate. "Christ is risen from the dead and by his death he has trampled death and unto those in the tombs, he has granted life."
  • Carve pumpkins. I have always loved this activity as a kid. We will be having a 'silly face' competition. Whoever carves the silliest pumpkin face wins a prize! For the little ones, simply let them go crazy with markers and glitter and glue.
  • Play doughnuts on a string or apples and flour for some great laughs.
  • Watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for some old fashioned American fun.
  • End the evening fun with vespers and light candles for your departed loved ones.
Do you have any ideas to contribute?