Madrid, Spain, Oct 29, 2009 / 22:02 pm
This week, the Spanish daily “La Razon” published an article discussing the efforts of Catholics in Spain, France and Chile to offer alternatives to customary Halloween activities.
According to the newspaper, Halloween “is not as innocent as dressing up as a witch and creating jack-o-lanterns with scary looking faces.” Father Joan Maria Canals of the Committee on the Liturgy of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference told La Razon that the problem with Halloween is its connection to “occultism and anti-Christianity.”
Parents should “be conscious and channel the meaning of the day towards that which is good and beautiful instead of towards terror, fear and death itself,” he added.
In the Spanish Diocese of Alcala de Henares, the Emmanuel Community will hold a vigil on Saturday night beginning at 10 p.m. Children and young people will be invited to participate in “music, Eucharistic adoration and dancing ‘in a Christian spirit’.”
In Paris, Catholics have created something they call “Holywins.” Organizers of the activity say, “In a society that avoids the issue of death, the feast of Halloween has merit for making us focus on this issue, but it only deals with morbid and macabre rituals.”
For this reason, “the young people of Paris want to take advantage of the feast of Halloween to bear witness to the faith and hope of Christians regarding death on the vigil of All Saints and All Souls,” they said.
“La Razon” also noted that in Santiago, Chile, the evening of October 31 has become an occasion to celebrate a spring festival. “No monsters, ghosts or witches here. All the costumes children wear are of angels, princesses, and even saints,” the article stated, quoting one store owner who said demand has been changing for the past decade.
“Before customers only wanted scary costumes. Now they want to dress up as women from ancient times, as queens, Cinderella and angels,” he added.