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Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween: Modern-day 'Bogus' Pocus

Happy Monday!


So everyone knows the story behind Halloween, right? If not, here's a quick historical run-down:

According to Wikipedia, "The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy."

Furthermore, it says "Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)". The name of the festival historically kept by the Gaels and celts in the British Isles which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556." (Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween)

So, there's your historical side of it. It has evolved from that into a very unhealthy obsession for many, with scary costumes, haunted house attractions, and the passing out of very unhealthy candies and highly processed and decidedly non-organic foods. This is a huge no-no in The Natural Mother's opinion. We don't celebrate Halloween, anyway, but I prefer to celebrate the entire autumn season, not just one day that has been highly secularized and even made terribly frightful. I am against the wastefulness and true frightfulness of mass-marketing costumes manufactured in toxic factories in foreign countries with little or no health safety regulations to protect against toxins and chemicals being against children's skin and being inhaled, in the case of masks. See these links for more information on lead and toxins founds in costumes: http://www.komonews.com/news/10731686.html as well as http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Non-food/Miscellaneous/toxins_in_halloween_costumes_scarier_than_ghosts_281020090800.html

I'm not trying to rail on people who take it as a simple, light-hearted festival (I do not agree with calling it 'holiday' as it is not a Holy Day in the sense of Christmas or Easter). But I think it is important to understand what it is, why it is celebrated, and understand the vehement opposition as well as the cultish obsession. Clearly, you find some of all of these in regards to Halloween. So, just keep these things in mind for yourselves and/or your children. It's always important to understand what you're celebrating and why you're choosing to observe or celebrate it. And regarding toxins and refined sugars and processed foods likely containing high fructose corn syrup and trans fats, amongst other harmful and nutritionally-void ingredients, your family's health and safety should be top priority. You can have healthy fun at home playing dress-up and serving healthy, organic treats any time you want, and it doesn't have to be creepy or scary.

Anyway, hope this day finds you all well and gives you some healthy food for thought in lieu of the strangely popular Halloween coming up!

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