News items from past years:
There is no sin or evil: "...our local school district held a large public meeting to discuss Halloween festivities. Most parent were angry at some proposed limitations on the traditional in-school celebration of a 'harmless holiday.' Why worry about the small minority who felt offended by its ancient link to a dead religion?... A former Wiccan priest explained thatthe old Celtic witchcraft that gave birth to Halloween is anything but dead....
"Valerie knows all too well why Neopagans love Halloween. The oldCeltic 'sabbat' is their main feast -- a window of time when the walls between the physical and spiritual worlds supposedly become thin enough to allow easy crossovers. This was the time to catch up with one's ancestors and other spirits from the underworld.But don't think the Vigil of Samhain was just a fun holiday. The 'Lord of the Dead', Samhain himself, is no deity to laugh at. Valerie explains why..."
Mesoamerican celebration of death -- beginning today on Halloween and extending through Sunday, All Souls' Day on the Catholic calendar -- sparked reflections on his own culture's observance of death. 'I come from a Vietnamese Buddhist background, so in my house there are many altars dedicated to many deceased relatives,' he wrote....
"Ravi Sharma, 18, of Milpitas High School, stood before Danh's altar contemplating the combination of Buddhist and Hindu religious symbols in the work. 'It shows we're all the same, even though we have different cultures,' he said. 'We all face the same problem (of death), it doesn't matter who you are.'"
Favorite haunts Bay Area homeowners, merchants enjoy getting all tricked out for Halloween: "...about $6.9 billion will be spent across the country this Halloween season, and apparently not all of it on costumes and candy. About 46.6 percent of Americans are expected to decorate their homes and yards this season, according to the retail federation. It is the second most profitable holiday, ranking only behind the Christmas holiday season. That's a lot of plasticghosts, ghouls and goblins.... 'Our kids absolutely love it, and I like it as well,' said Mike Faith." See Rethinking HALLOWEEN
Trying new tricks to make day a treat: "Under new security guidelines outlined by principals and teachers, parents will be barred from entering three of the Shenendehowa Central School District's seven elementary schools on Halloween....
"Other districts require students to wear nonviolent costumes. Schenectady schools outlaw grotesque and bloody costumes under a policy that has been in place for years, spokesman Jim Ormsbee said. The district instead encourages students to dress up like characters from their favorite books and to walk in a parade." Deut 18:9-12
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Halloween banned in Moscow schools: "Halloween has been banned from schools in Moscow afterRussian education chiefs ruled it was too pagan.... In a letter sent to school heads and governors teachers were warned that: 'The very fact that Halloween activities contain elements such as the cult of death, rejecting death, personification of death and evil spirits produces a destructive effect upon the psychological, moral and spiritual health of students.'" Rom 12:2-9
"But for a growing number of Americans, celebrating Halloween has become taboo.... It's not just evangelical Christians, either. Some Jewish parents reject Halloween because of the holiday's pagan and Christian roots and instead celebrate Purim, a Jewish festival involving costumes and candy that started on March 17 this year.
"Conservative Muslim parents also opt out of Halloween because the Koran forbids celebration of non-Muslim holidays....
"Halloween's roots go back millenniums and stem from both pagan and [so-called] "Christian" traditions. The Celtic festival Samhain was an ancient tradition commemorating the dead."