When did Halloween become a week long celebration?

I’m confused.  I remember Halloween taking place on October 31, as a kid I remember trick-or-treating, the Halloween parade at school, and carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds.  I have zero recollection of Halloween greeting cards, wearing costumes for a week, and it being in any way acceptable to stop regularly scheduled activities (like Sunday School!) for Halloween.

Don’t get me wrong, the kids walking around in costumes and stuff is very cute.  I even understand a Halloween party the night before (it is so Jewish to start holidays the evening before) especially on a Sunday.

It has gone too far.  Looking around the Sunday School today it seems that numbers might be slightly down (this is unofficial).  Of the 13 grade 10 students I prepared to teach, only three showed up.

The commercialization of every celebration, no matter how big or small is horrifying to me.  Are we really modeling something to the next generation or are we preparing them to rebel against us?

My favorite Halloween tradition is the one that I learned about in Spanish class every year, Dia de los Muertos (I know there should be some accents in there).  This is actually the origin of Halloween to some extent and has deep important meaning for the families that go to the cemeteries and remember the deceased in preparation for tomorrow, All Saints Day.  These celebrations are not part of my faith or cultural tradition but I think they are very interesting to learn about.

So, Happy Halloween, I guess.  Please let it be over when it is over.  Oh, and happy November!

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About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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One Response to When did Halloween become a week long celebration?

  1. Linda Colman says:

    I agree 110%! Like many quaint little fun days it has become over commercialized.

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