Halloween in Sydenham

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Robin Orton
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Joined: 9 Sep 2008 07:30
Location: London SE26

Post by Robin Orton »

Despite its current apparently Christian label (Hallowe'en = the eve of All Hallows, that is, of All Saints Day) its rituals and iconography reflect its origin as a pagan festival of the dead, where the spirits of the dead are welcomed home for the night and malignant spirits frightened away - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween. In my view it should be celebrated only by Sydenham's pagan community and Christians should certainly have nothing to do with it in its current form.

Christhom
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009 15:26
Location: Sydenham

Post by Christhom »

So 'the modern world is full...(of) pointlessnes, greed and profit for it's own sake' ?
The modern (western) world is full of people who are healthier and safer than we have ever been. If our celebrations seem frivolous so what ? I'm sure that in the days when disease, poverty and no social welfare haunted mind and body every celebration was a chance to escape reality. Now we can simply indulge ourselves and have some fun.
Christmas, Easter and Halloween were pagan festivals co-opted by Christianity and are now secular with a thin veneer of the sacred (in the first two at least). So the world turns.Who knows what they will represent in 100 years.
I believe the modern Halloween craze in the UK can be traced to the film from I think 1979. I agree some youths go too far and my front door was 'egged' once. That's down to them not Halloween. I did provoke it by giving them a treat of a signed photo of myself.

NorthernIrelandSydenham
Posts: 35
Joined: 2 Oct 2009 09:09
Location: Co Armagh & Sydenham

Post by NorthernIrelandSydenham »

Trawlerman, you have a good point on the twisted youth of today taking it too far, we had little thug bastards throwing blast bombs for their Halloween fun, but then that was back home and expected at the time.

I still think it’s a really fun holiday that, in my view, does not really need Christian meaning (that’s not a dig at your post by the way) *cough* Robin *cough* “ Robin, "Christians should certainly have nothing to do with it in its current form” reminds me of the Christian people that came around to my door on a Saturday evening preaching the word of God and the teachings of the bible.

I asked them about the meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, I asked them how they felt about the modern twist. (It was a loaded question, as I already had my comeback) But I then said onto them, you are here on my doorstep, you are here to advertise your religion to me, you dislike the coke~a~cola adverts that are blasted into our homes around this time of the year, the toy adverts and the lack of ‘real’ Christmas meaning in their buy-me-now messages. Yet you stand here, not of my asking, trying to sell me God. You have come into my life today and tried to push the message of religion onto me and my street. Even when I said in a very polite manner, no thank you, you then proceeded to push a flyer into my hand, a printout that contains your propaganda, your advertisement.

If you could afford a personal message of God onto my TV screen, then you would not hesitate, you would blast that into my home twenty-four seven. Now I fully understand the concept of fighting fire with fire, but this Sir, makes you a hypocrite.

There is no fine balance between the mindless acts of twisted youth and decent people just taking their children along for a fun dress-up Halloween party. But as for the Neo-Christian type ‘don’t take anything to do with it’ statements, that’s just bull on so many levels.

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

Of course many in the West are far healthier, longer-lived and safer and in so many ways better off than they were in the past.

Is there a connection with the above and greed without conscience, unbridled crass commercialisation? Rampant inequality? [Evidence suggests thst we are the most un-equal society in Europe] and the en-mass return to the trough of the gambling bankers? When profit and sheer greed become paramount then disaster follows. People naturally crave something deeper and when they don't find it then problems grow.
We are indeed living in 'interesting times'.

I have already said that I am not against kids having a bit of 'fun' and I am not against a bit of frivolity. But our celebrations have indeed become almost totally divested of meaning, empty and sterile but for a surface film of fun [and shopping] Is this a good thing?

Of course there are many insistent self-promoting 'religious' folk who should be challenged...But don't confuse the message with some of the simplistic and literal-minded messengers. They are not the same thing. That's what many intelligent people have not yet understood.

I am certainly not in favour of a return to some mythical past 'golden age'. I'm just concerned that we need to be a bit more thoughtful. 'Secular festival' seems reasonable but it sounds hollow. The hollow now appears to be filled with a new god...Cash... and the air rings not with the sound of bells bit with tinkle of cash registers.

Christhom
Posts: 20
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 15:26
Location: Sydenham

Post by Christhom »

Did greed EVER come with conscience ? It's not unique to our time. Crass commercialisation ? I agree but its subjective. One person's crass is another's informative/entertaining/fulfilling. I'm sure when xmas trees were introduced the same accusations could be heard. I'm 52 and I understand that some of my values will live into the future and some will be discarded. The world is always making small adjustments that come to seem huge over time.
We certainly are an unequal society but we are not a poor one. Yes people are distracted by modern-day bread and circuses. Some things never change. I would still stand up for this misfiring modern society in spite of its oft-seeming shallowness. If only because the parish pump is alive and well on the internet ! Maybe no-one else appreciates our exchanges but I do. Thankz

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

Thanks for that, Christhom.
I think this is a valuable exchange of ideas.

Sometimes greedy people think twice...sometimes...

I think we should be wary of boundless subjectivity and relativism.

I understand your point about 'poverty' and 'inequality' but our society's inequality is quite extreme [as I have said] when compared with other western countries and this has led to a host of new complications that were not so common in the past.

Knowing that some things have not changed is not the same as being resigned to the belief that they will never change.

But it is always good to have values...Even though they may not always be taken up by the next or future generations.

On the other hand, some 'old-fashioned' ideas sometimes get resurrected!!

Cheers

Juwlz
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005 20:49
Location: Outer Sydenham

Post by Juwlz »

Trawlerman wrote:I understand what you are saying...But my point has still not been answered. What are we celebrating?

'Trick or treat'?

Some older 'kids' have turned this bit of harmless 'fun' into a festival of extortion and intimidation. Some older people are so nervous that they refuse to open their doors. I kid you not.

The 'modern' is not good in itself. Developing something for the modern desire is an empty phrase.

Perhaps you mean 'evolve' , 'adapt' ...But for what? To what end?
Fun? What is the impetus behind the 'fun'?

Celebration must have a reason... Or else it is empty. Even children deserve to have a basis for their celebration...Or more precisely... especially children.

The modern age is too full of meaningless 'fun' and hedonism. Look at what has happened to Christmas.

Let us try and bring some proper meaning into our lives and our children's lives. The modern world is full to the brim with pointlessness, greed and profit for its own sake.

Our children deserve better.
What a load of rubbish! What's wrong with fun for fun's sake? I love Halloween and always have done. Surely you know Halloween has pagan and religious roots - Samhain, All hallows eve etc. But it also happens to be when pumpkins are ripe and natures's ripe for a party. A small child can sense that without having to be told!
Dressing up in scary costumes and running around outdoors isn't commercial its creative!

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

Oh dear, Juwlz. Of course I know about the 'roots' of this festival. I also know about the 'ripeness' etc. But, thanks for reminding me.

I'm pleased that you think a small child senses this. Great! Although a small part of me is perhaps just a little sceptical.
But what's all this about 'not commercial but creative'? Perhaps a bit true But also...
A bit naive...I'm not going to be discourteous and say 'rubbish!'

We were not just talking about 'dressing up in scary costumes and running around outdoors'..Were we?

Also, on the surface, perhaps there's nothing wrong with 'fun for fun's sake'. But think about it ...maybe this 'ideal' has led to all manner of problems in society when it remains life's guiding purpose for millions in the west.

I'd love to see when 'Nature's ripe for a party...' Sounds great.
[But perhaps the Anglicans have that one sewn-up with 'Harvest Festival'?]

Christhom
Posts: 20
Joined: 11 Oct 2009 15:26
Location: Sydenham

Post by Christhom »

Although I never celebrated it as a kid one thing can be said for Halloween. It is certainly safer than Guy Fawkes night. Ah. Maybe Halloween in its modern guise is a Papist plot to make us forget and forgive Signor Fawkes ?! One can only imagine Milton's or Bunyan's reaction if whisked forward in time to a modern Halloween !! As for what Oliver Cromwell would do to us....

Juwlz
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005 20:49
Location: Outer Sydenham

Post by Juwlz »

Trawlerman wrote: Also, on the surface, perhaps there's nothing wrong with 'fun for fun's sake'. But think about it ...maybe this 'ideal' has led to all manner of problems in society when it remains life's guiding purpose for millions in the west.

You think fun is the guiding purpose for millions in the west? I think you'll find its money, that's the problem. Maybe you should try being nice to some trick or treaters and see what happens.

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

Spot the connection, Juwlz.
Sorry you have fired a blank this time.
And...How is one nice to trick or treaters?

Never in my time, old chap...

Money ...Fun ... ... Celebration... Profit...trick or treat... [blackmail]

OK ... I know I'm being a bit extreme / provocative.

On one level...Of course Halloween is 'safer' than Guy Fawkes Night...
[Physically, perhaps. ]
Fawkes may well have been a bit of a 'dupe'?

Good point re Milton & Bunyan. Though I am not in league with either ghost.

Juwlz
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005 20:49
Location: Outer Sydenham

Post by Juwlz »

Trawlerman wrote:Spot the connection, Juwlz.
Sorry you have fired a blank this time.
And...How is one nice to trick or treaters?

Never in my time, old chap...

Money ...Fun ... ... Celebration... Profit...trick or treat... [blackmail]

OK ... I know I'm being a bit extreme / provocative.

On one level...Of course Halloween is 'safer' than Guy Fawkes Night...
[Physically, perhaps. ]
Fawkes may well have been a bit of a 'dupe'?

Good point re Milton & Bunyan. Though I am not in league with either ghost.
What are you going on about you obscure weirdo!? :lol:

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

'Obscure weirdo'?

Merely responding to a couple of posts.
Have you read them?.
If you want explanations for something just ask .
Don't just bandy around words like 'weirdo' and 'rubbish'...

Juwlz
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005 20:49
Location: Outer Sydenham

Post by Juwlz »

I was only joking, don't get so upset.

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

Chill!
Not upset.
Just trying to be helpful.
TTFN!

bensonby
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Location: Kent

Post by bensonby »

how appropriate we discuss the 'Weird' in relation to Hallowe'en Juwlz and TM.

Trawlerman
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Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

How peculiar!!
['X Files theme' ...Fade out...]

Juwlz
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Joined: 26 Oct 2005 20:49
Location: Outer Sydenham

Policing steepd up for Halloween

Post by Juwlz »

Here I was hoping this story was about extra police being called in to protect the trick or treaters and keep the zimmer-framed armies of Victor Meldrews at bay, but unfortunately not…

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20091030/tuk ... a1618.html

Trawlerman
Posts: 318
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 13:56
Location: Sydenham

Post by Trawlerman »

Pleased to see that youth workers are 'dedicated'.

Some may even be 'committed' !

Anyway... I'd love to see an army of zimmer-framed Victor Meldrew clones...Sounds just right for Halloween.

JonnoBass
Posts: 10
Joined: 2 Nov 2009 14:20
Location: Sydenham

Post by JonnoBass »

on a slightly different note. we now have two tubs of Celebrations (2 for £10 at the Berry) and not one kid knocked on my door to ask trick or treat... more for us I s'pose :roll:

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