Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween's Roots

Mèmè Shares:  
Should our kids celebrate Halloween? Halloween is a most interesting holiday.  It is seen by many as a pagan rite and ancient festival of Druids and witches – some who still practice today.
Actually, its origins are not only rooted in Christianity, but very American. Because we are a parochial school, the children learn the religious history of the holiday as All Hallows Eve (hallow’en) and the precursor to All Saints Day on November 1st. 
Dressing up comes from the medieval French, who dressed for All Souls Day, November 2nd, a day of feast and prayer for those who died. Our 8th graders will have a Great Hall of Saints, where students will dress as a saint and recite a short history of that saint’s life to anyone who steps up to them.
The Irish, worried about the souls in hell becoming unhappy and causing trouble, used noise (banging pots and pans) and light (carved turnips with candles inside) to keep those souls away.  Early settlers used gourds and pumpkins to make this jack-o-lantern.
In Britain, Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated on November 5th, to commemorate the failure of the “Gunpowder Plot” in 1605 to remove King James I.  Revelers wore masks and went from house to house demanding food and drink – trick or treat.
As all these immigrant peoples came to America, the wonderful blending of traditions began to meld into the holiday called Halloween.  It is a truly American celebration with Christian roots.
Many local churches hold “trunk & treats” with games, face painting and other safe activities. At our school the little ones dress up and parade up and down the hall way.  The older students gather outside the classroom and clap, cheer and high-five as they go past.  Some are very shy or self-conscious and some seem to be right in character!  Celebrate and make your own family traditions.

Mary C. Prus, B.A., MATL. (Mémé) taught and administered Early Childhood Developmental Programs in Erie, PA. for 20 years, including the Maura Smith Child Learning Center on the campus of Mercyhurst College, where she had received her Bachelor’s Degree (many years earlier). Which only proves - what goes around, comes around!  Currently she is teaching sixth grade Middle School in Memphis, TN. She is a long distance grandmother to three grandchildren.

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