Halloween as a Religious Holiday

H/T: FoxNews (here)



Philly-area school cancels Halloween celebrations

Officials at a suburban Philadelphia elementary school have decided to cancel a Halloween parade and other Halloween celebrations, citing a ban on promoting religious beliefs.

WPVI-TV says parents received a letter from the principal at Inglewood Elementary School in Lansdale on Tuesday.

The letter said parents were told that holidays like Halloween are seen by some as secular and viewed by others as having religious overtones.

But it said school districts are barred from promoting religious beliefs, and while they can teach about religious and cultural practices, they cannot sponsor them.


11 thoughts on “Halloween as a Religious Holiday

  1. I just wrote an article on my Theology and Society blog that updates this Halloween predicament in a Pennsylvania elementary school. Ironically enough, the school reversed its original decision to ban Halloween activities — probably as a result of parental pressure — and now says that these activities may be held.

    You can read my update on this “spooky” scenario by visiting .

  2. Making Orthodoxy political (“liberals who don’t want to accept the truth of Orthodoxy”) troubles me. I have belonged to the same Orthodox Church for almost 60 years. I know not what political affiliation in which my fellow parishioners participate. I also agree that in some cases, fundamentalist converts are changing the way we do business. As I read Orthodox blogs and the comments that follow regarding social issues in America, I can’t help but note the preoccupation with the sins of others, to the point of cruelty. Is our own salvation in such good order that we have to time to worry about others? What a luxury that must be. We all know what the church stands for. Those who seek and find us will not be so interested if we exhibit the bad habits of today’s modern churches.
    That being said, I can remember as a child, a Halloween Party in the church basement of our Orthodox Church. Many immigrant families did everything they could to belong to America, and in this case, a Halloween party was held for the children of the church. My only memory I have is that we played a game where we were told to eat a pack of crackers as quickly as possible, and then whistle when we were finished. The winner was awarded a prize. I still give out candy to my neighborhood friends’ children and grandchildren. May God forgive me.

  3. When I see the trick-or-treaters dressed up as (American) football stars on Halloween, I am appalled that their parents allow them to glorify an idol-worshiping lifestyle that leads only to concussions and permanent neurological disorders.

    😉 [jocular smiley face, worn on many days, not just when I’m going door-to-door imperiling my soul by pleading for the transient earthly reward of candy]

  4. The next Orthodox celebration of Hallowe’en will be on 14 June 2014 — I doubt that any schools in America will be observing it then.

  5. Halloween is a hardly a religious holiday. I thought the article was interesting and so posted it here. John Sanidopoulos has some interesting things to say about the subject on his blog Mystagogy here

  6. @anon Unfortunately it’s more like liberals who don’t want to accept the truth of Orthodoxy; i.e. converts who don’t want to admit their favorite past-times are no longer compatible with their new faith. One cannot serve two masters. Ignoring the worshipful aspects of Halloween does not negate them.

  7. Honestly, I think that’s great. I wish all religious and spiritual teachings were left to the families and not brought up at all in public education!

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