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Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat
Smell My Feet
Give me something good to eat.
If you don’t, I don’t care
I’ll stick an apple down your underwear.

When I was really young I went trick or treating one time. I was batman and I had one of those hideous plastic masks that you strapped to your face with a piece of elastic string that invariably stung when it was snapped into place and then the mask limited your breathing and visibility. That year I truly was “blind as a bat.”

Soon after my first trick-or-treating experience we became Christians and we shunned everything in the world that smacked even remotely of sin or wickedness. This was a part of Christianity that I wasn’t too happy with at such a young age. To be stripped of this delicious priviledge – a night of free candy and fun costumes – was about as cruel as being born in a third world country and forced to grow my own food. It was so unfair!

Fortunately, the Christian church created fall festivals for those of us kids who didn’t partake in this forbidden candy apple and we were allowed to dress up as Biblical characters and spend the night in a safe environment surrounded by parents, friends and God.

I didn’t lament my loss of Trick-or-Treating as a child and fully understood the evils that surround All Hallows Eve. If you know anything about religion and history then you may know that the Christian church merged our holidays with the pagan holidays. If you can’t beat them, join them right? I’d heard of this practice but I had never seen a Wiccan holiday calendar until one day at work I saw it on a coworkers screensaver.  Easter, Christmas, and Halloween are the most obvious collaborations and we can look at each of these and see the Pagan influence.

If you look closely at Halloween you will find that for Wiccans this is their new year.

“Samhain (Sow-win, Oct. 31), Witches’ New Year, marks the death of the God and his the arrival in the Land of Youth, where he opens the gates so the souls can revisit their loved ones. It is said to be the day when the walls between the worlds are to be the thinnest and when contact with one’s ancestors can tack place. It is celebrated with the Festival of the Dead. This is a time of reflection on the year and a celebration of our ancestors.

So, there you have it, a holiday that celebrates witchcraft but one that we’ve slapped a bag of candy on and turned into something sweet. I’ll admit it, when it comes right down to it I don’t see anything wrong with trick-or-treating, it is the intent behind an action that makes it bad, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t educate my children to the truth and the dark side of this nefarious holiday.

Personally, I like to celebrate this time of year by celebrating the coming of Fall. You might see a pumpkin at my house and some fall colors, but you won’t see anything that is specifically tied to Halloween.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

By Evan Stark

Eddie Renz is an avid fan of Egyptology, Wilbur Smith and bacon. Not a fan of humility but often finds himself humbled when he is around people who understand numbers like the Fibonacci sequence and Pi.

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