Halloween and Orthodoxy
Among the strangest American holidays is Halloween. Originally associated with the Eve of All Saints' Day (Western calendar), its bizarre practices are rooted in British folk customs that go back to very early times (with a fair amount of pagan influence).
Of course, today, the festival is about candy and costumes, and a cultural fascination with "scary stuff."
You will see plenty of commentaries that warn that all of this is Satanic and evil and dangerous. On the one hand, it is easy to overstate such warnings and be quite reactionary. On the other hand, our cultural fascination with all of this could use much more reflection.
As an Orthodox parent, it strikes me as odd that we might dress our children up as devils, demons, vampires and the like. Those are enemies. I leave that to other parents to think about.
If you would like to hear some very mature thoughts on our culture's interest in "monsters," I recommend this video by Jonathan Pageau (the artist). It is of a talk he gave at the Diocesan Assembly this past summer. It is entitled:
Pentecost for the Zombie Apocalypse