It’s the time of year when two celebrations run back to back with each other that make me feel uncomfortable; Halloween and bonfire night. By all means call me a killjoy, but I’m not particularly happy with my children being exposed to either.
Let’s start with Halloween. When I was a kid, Halloween was simply a bit of pumpkin carving. Living in a tiny hamlet, there was certainly no trick or treating, a pastime my children will never participate in.
It may be an uncompromising view, but to me trick or treating in no more than demanding treats with menaces. I dislike it intensely.
Over the past few years it seems the world has gone very big on Halloween. When did people start wishing each other a “happy Halloween”? Happy for what exactly? The decorations I see in shops and houses seem to be getting more and more elaborate. Seriously, do these people have nothing better to do?
I hear people saying Halloween is “just a bit of fun.” Considering its origins I’m not sure I agree!
A few days later, we then have bonfire night. Rather like Halloween, I can’t help feeling the true origins of this event have been blurred over time.
Okay, Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators weren’t exactly peace loving individuals. They were, basically, violent thugs. Even so, they were spurred on to take radical action because they were part of the persecuted Roman Catholic minority and were fighting state-sponsored persecution.
How do we mark this occasion? We chuck an effigy of Guy Fawkes on to a bonfire. We make it more appealing to children by letting off huge quantities of fireworks. It’s a very odd way to spread a message about tolerance and peace!
Just because these occasions are popular doesn’t make them right. I think I may go and spend the next couple weeks living on a desert island and come back when it’s all over.
Photo credit: Ka Fariq Gatri Published under Creative Commons 3.0 agreement. For information about Creative Commons and links to the various agreements, see my Disclosure page.