“The more I am in Ireland and Scotland, the more I understand why Halloween is linked to all saints Day and why the Catholic Church refers to this feast sympathetic and allows the children to participate. In the local Orthodox parishes here, parents sometimes ask whether to allow children to participate in this celebration.” As it relates to Halloween – Archpriest Georgy Zavershinsky, Dean of the parishes of the ROC in Scotland and Northern Ireland, doctor of philosophy, master of theology, candidate of technical Sciences, member of the Union of writers of Russia.
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Scotland and Ireland, where I serve, the birthplace of Halloween. This evening on the eve (or eve, as they say in the Orthodox tradition) of all saints Day. Here it covered schools, public institutions, shops – in short, a place where people gather. The feast is very ancient, it was first mentioned in the Middle ages. Here remember parents, parents of parents, in General, all the ancestors since ancient Celtic times. It’s part of the local culture. That is, known it all long ago, and each time there are some new characters, new outfits.
In itself, this phenomenon is connected with the end of summer and beginning of autumn day and the weather. Usually it coincides, this year went so well that just in time for Halloween on bright Sunny days give way to rainy, cloudy and gloomy. In the tradition of the ancient Celts just at the end of October was a holiday end of summer – all happy and bright going, and it is a dark dark time. And how is it to be? Dislikes, fears, fears what he does not know, does not represent not see. Obviously there is light, spiritual forces that are associated with all saints Day (they are our guardian angels as well), as it was in the old Celtic Church, and there are forces, on the contrary, aggressive. The forces of evil, darkness, death, destruction. So, while they are invisible – they really may be terrible, can push someone up to some nefarious deeds and actions.
But how to avoid it? People just come to it, as if to play with these forces, to make a presentation, fake.
And laughed plenty over evil forces, joking, we show that these forces are capable of bringing evil, in fact as not. So remove the stress from the coming autumn and bad weather. Psychologically, this is understandable.
Russia has a reprehensible attitude towards Halloween, many priests and laity oppose it. But, in my opinion, this Celtic tradition is no objective evil does not bear. The more I am in Ireland and Scotland, the more I understand why Halloween is linked to all saints Day and why the Catholic Church refers to this feast sympathetic and allows the children to participate. Here in the local Orthodox parishes, parents sometimes ask whether to allow children to participate in this celebration. Do I need to ban? Classmates would joke, laugh, and the child will remain one, as a finger, and this, of course, will survive, he will become unpleasant. Therefore, traditionally, the time priests serve here at Orthodox parishes, many of them tell parents what to do as well.
Here there is still such children’s entertainment, trick-or-treat. The literal translation is “trick or treat”. This is when children knock at the house and beg for sweets, and if you don’t give something, they can do some “stuff”, leprosy. Anything you can paint, but nothing criminal, of course, will not do.
This prank as it shows that what we fear – that is actually there. And coming bad weather doesn’t have to act on the person depressing, to enter into depression, sadness. This draw allowed.
The custom of celebrating Halloween has been living for a long time and cover large regions. This tradition goes back to Middle ages, not only in Anglo-Saxon countries. She, along with some new technologies, the phenomena of mass culture crept in Japan and in the countries of South-East Asia. In many places it caught on, because apparently people find it a certain kind of fun, children are happy, for them it is an adventure and to see this as only something bad would be wrong. It is, on the contrary, a mockery of bad.
As in mathematics there is a method of proof by contradiction, and here – along in “evil” and show that it is not for you. The human imagination itself tells you how to do so, not to be afraid, to stay with peace of mind, to remain a free man. Laughter and sense of humor is a big gift person, and to avoid evil, we need to laugh at him – “we are not afraid of you”. We put ourselves out of evil, from seeing him, laugh at him. We should always remember that evil still cannot be committed without the person’s consent.
Halloween, of course, identified with the neo-pagan holiday, and the Church has a negative attitude to a whole culture around this festival of music, theatre, literature. Appeared horror movies related to Halloween — very heavy, with a psychedelic tinge. All this is already commercial in nature, captures weight, and this is, unfortunately, impossible to deny.
I have also discussed how many priests that it is wrong to celebrate Halloween, what is this “carnival of evil, a celebration of spiritual impoverishment”. But over time I realized that this is a carnival, and true evil can not be. This is a fake evil.
To artificially hamper, put obstacles, to ban Halloween, at least in our parishes in English-speaking countries – is meaningless. You can, of course, to encourage the children to choose some of the characters mildly. But in General – if you’re seriously taking this holiday, it turns out, you and participate in it. Seriously to deal with it, not giving it away – so get “evil for evil”.
Of course, evil is attractive, it is interesting, it gives space for imagination, this pseudotarget – children paint themselves, but the outfits themselves do not. Indeed, this is a real extravaganza. Now I’m not going to evaluate this holiday – good or bad. I do think that the time when this festival actively fought passes. “The negative impact of the West, corruption is”… Try to change the intonation, change a pole.
Of course, I would not recommend to celebrate this holiday in Russia. It is not necessary to participate. It is not our tradition, and not necessarily to take it. Maybe someday Russia will have its own Orthodox “anti-Halloween”, in the Russian version – with devilry, Baba-Yaga, Koshcheev Immortal. If a holiday has got us to finally distracted from Halloween. Moreover, unlike the Celts, for the Russian people it really can be dangerous, because we have such a serious, dramatic approach to everything, we really can do something to move this comic line.
The main thing I want to say – don’t need to take this holiday seriously, no need to fight it like a real great evil, and then all of this, not having roots in Russia, just as easy to leave as it is. If seriously to deal with what is not serious, you can get in an awkward position, and Halloween just what we need!