Sunday, October 14, 2012

Over Sexualized? Or For All Ages?

EdenFantasys asked: Are we over sexualizing a holiday that puts focus on children, or is Halloween for all ages?

Halloween is not being over sexualized and Halloween isn’t for all ages.


Well, let’s start with the origin of Halloween.

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, derived from the Old Irish Samuin meaning "summer's end". Samhain was the first and the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish and Scottish calendar and, falling on the last day of autumn, it was a time for stock-taking and preparation for the cold winter months ahead.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating.
Assuming Halloween does stem from Samhain then it’s not really a holiday for children. It was a time to take stock and prepare for the upcoming winter. Not something children would be able to rejoice in. Animals would be slaughtered and preserved for the winter months, fruits and veggies would be canned. Yes, it may be over-sexualized now, but it technically was never designed for children.

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