Halloween Through to Christmas: Like it or Loathe it?

  • I'm going to be honest. I love it when the clocks go back. The dark nights, cosy and warm with the telly on, curl;ed up on the sofa eating hot cheese on toast for supper as you snuggle up under a duvet! But, I'm not going to admit to liking everything. I don't "do" or "get" Halloween. It is an old Celtic festival hijacked by the Americans to turn into a dumbass festival where you are meant to enjoy yourself. The roots of Hallowe'en (spelt correctly) are sinister and macabre and yet, here we are in modern Britain, with most unaware of the origins or the meaning of what the English used to observe as a day where you would observe the transition between the living and the dead. Many Halloween traditions, like wearing masks, telling ghost stories, and carving vegetables into lanterns, sprung directly from Samhain celebrations. The Church contributed to Halloween celebrations as we know it, too: an activity called souling, when a person would go from house to house asking for cakes in return for praying for the souls of those in the house, was popular during the later Middle Ages, and may be the inspiration for our modern-day trick-or-treating.


    31st October was chosen as the date for Hallowe'en by Pope Gregory IV in the year 835. This date just happened to coincide with the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was a commemoration for the dead. But like most Celtic and Pagan festivals, the Christians stole to make it into their own observation event.


    But, Hallowe'en asides, I do feel poignant and proud each Remembrance weekend and then, gleefully get excited when Christmas approaches. I love the mid-November through to Christmas Day period. It really is my favourite time of the year. The twinkling tree lights, the presents, the music. The whole ambience of occasion. Is this your favourite time of the year? Or do you long for the never ending days of Summer? I'm not a summer fan. Never have been, but between now and Christmas, I simply love it. I do not observe New Year though.

  • Don't agree about the cold weather.:) Don't like hot weather, either! I was about to say I prefer California weather, but considering the news from there today, perhaps not!


    Halloween now in Britain, is the Americanised version and although I'm slow to come round to things, I quite like seeing all the kids dressing in different costumes. So, yes, I like Halloween again, the new version. I did used to do a pumpkin and that tradition may be restored in the future.


    Due to personal circumstances, I've not seen a fireworks show in a very, very, long time. I love fireworks. I always try to go out into the street for a bit to watch some of them and hope to see a proper show in the future.


    I used to watch Remembrance Day and its events and when I worked in central London, would always go to the see the flowers at the cenotaph trying not to get run over by taxis and couriers! In recent years I've not been able to see the remembrance day events, though, but I hope to see them on tv and one day, go back to attending actual events. We only have the lives we have today because of the sacrifice of others.


    I don't have kids and my own family lost a member last year, so not really had a lot of time to enjoy Christmas over the last several years due to caring responsibilities. It was just a work day like any other but with all the extra Christmas duties and jobs on top, so didn't really enjoy it to be honest. That said, every year I get all the decorations out and tree and spend a whole weekend decorating the house and always do a Christmas dinner. Hate Christmas tv now, so that stays off.


    Again, copying the Americans, some locals in my area get very competitive about external Christmas decorations and lights for their houses and although I initially hated this, it really brightens things up, so now love it.


    Used to love New Year, but my last proper celebration was at the millennium. I hate crowds, but despite that, I went to central London and although I couldn't last it out to midnight, I did enjoy the atmosphere up until the crowds along the embankment got too much for me. Since then, New Year Eve's I've either been on my own, or over the last decade, was busy with caring responsibilities. That said, the tv was on at midnight and I love the fireworks display from London.

  • I hate Halloween with a passion. It has become repugnant, full of horror, blood, axes in heads and violent films and is something that is creeping across the world from America. Samhain has vanished. The reverence of the ancestral dead is not even a memory, it is itself dead.


    Christmas where I am is in summer and is celebrated for me with a nice dinner, but most now do a barbecue. When I was a child Christmas was magical with lots of decorations and a tree and families. Things have changed.


    New Year is a horror night of fireworks which terrify the animals and cause pollution. Fireworks now sound like bombs and guns.

  • I don't mind this time of year in general as a time of year, as for Hallowe'en and the Americanised concept of begging with menaces not keen on that, Christmas I don't mind that it brightens up the place, new year don't bother with that now it's been turned into what seems like a bomb festival.

    Young boys in the park jumpers for goalpost that's what footballs all about isn't it.

  • I hate Halloween with a passion. It has become repugnant, full of horror, blood, axes in heads and violent films and is something that is creeping across the world from America. Samhain has vanished. The reverence of the ancestral dead is not even a memory, it is itself dead.


    Christmas where I am is in summer and is celebrated for me with a nice dinner, but most now do a barbecue. When I was a child Christmas was magical with lots of decorations and a tree and families. Things have changed.


    New Year is a horror night of fireworks which terrify the animals and cause pollution. Fireworks now sound like bombs and guns.

    I couldn't imagine Christmas in the summer. Although since 2011 the temperature on Christmas Day has been between 12 and 16 degrees, so it does feel as though it's a Spring festival lately! I am hoping for colder weather this year as a proper winter has been absent for many years now.


    I share your views on Hallowe'en with a passion. Old English customs of reverance, apple bobbing and sitting in darkened rooms with candles telling ghost stories are long gone, and it is ghosts and the occult that need observing, not zombies or mass murderers or psychopaths. A "let's butcher a dozen people to death" type mentality has crept into the festival and it is a far cry of what it should be. I often wonder if other religions would be so lenient over their festivals changing from one of reverance, to something all singing, all dancing glitz, colour and commercialism. Perhaps Ramadan could bnecome a thirty day disco with food and drink aplenty, but as long as the Muslims don't eat chocolate until sundown, all will be well? Do you think they'd go for that?


    Part of the reason for the decline of Christianity is that they made Christian festivals secular. Now people celebrate things not even knowing why they are celebrated. A prime example was a Newsroom South-East report about the Church of England using stark imagery of a blood covered Christ on a cross for Easter. One Reading woman said "That's terrible. That'll frighten the kiddies. What's images like that got to do with Easter? Easter is about chicks, bunnies and chocolate eggs. Not horror movies!"

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