Halloween. To celebrate or not?
This is the question that starts a yearly controversial debate on social media, especially in mothers’ communities. While some parents are strongly against allowing their kids to celebrate Halloween at school, others have no problem, and many remain in the grey area.
The controversy boils down to Halloween being a non-Islamic day, the non-relevancy to our culture, and the dark and scary side of it.
Halloween will send us hell
Many parents believe that their children shouldn’t celebrate any non-Islamic feasts including Christmas as well!
However, others don’t look at it from a religious perspective. They don’t mind their Muslim kids celebrating Christmas, for example. But when it comes to Halloween, they see it as an intruder to our Egyptian culture and that kids should rather be introduced to Pharaonic celebrations. Sometimes, schools take the extra mile and hold an Egyptian day celebration on the same day as Halloween to prove a point.
Image source: creative Commons
Are we commemorating death?
Many parents are against the nature of Halloween itself. They consider it evil with a dark root as it was originally celebrated on the 31stof October by The Celts who lived 2000 years ago. On that day – that marked the end of summer and harvest – they used to throw the Samhain Festival. The Celts believed that on Halloween night ghosts of the dead returned to Earth, which led them to build huge sacred bonfires and burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the gods.
This leads many parents to believe that the origin of the day itself is not commemorating something useful or symbolic for kids. They also believe that it doesn’t make sense to ask kids to wear scary costumes and spooky makeup and be encouraged to do pranks.
Image source: The List.co.uk
Is the argument that Halloween is neither an Islamic nor Egyptian day strong enough? Should our kids stick only to traditional things in all manners? Is it even possible? Can we end the fascination with Western cultures or is it too late and theoretical?
On the other side, some parents don’t think of Halloween as a big deal. For them, it’s just an opportunity to wear costumes and makeup for fun as long as the activities included are age-appropriate, supervised by the school like trick or treating where children are not introduced to the origin of the day.
Those in the grey area cannot still decide whether Halloween events should be permitted at schools or not. In other words, if kids will not get the concept of it, then why celebrate it? If it’s just for fun, why can’t the fun part be included in other ways relevant to our culture?
The school is a community
Can we say that it’s related to the school culture? We have diverse schools in Egypt, some of them are managed by expats and kids travel abroad for student exchange programs. So, if a parent chooses a similar school, he should probably be prepared for his child to be introduced to foreign cultures. On the contrary, other parents might choose conservative schools to avoid such exposure.
Image source: Getty Images
Should we say NO?
Confused parents have their kids’ best interest in mind. They can’t decide if they should allow them to celebrate Halloween to avoid being alienated by their friends or ban them. Should we intolerantly force our beliefs on our kids regardless of the surrounding environment?
Share with us what your Halloween beliefs. Does your kid’s school celebrate it or not and why?