Thursday, October 24, 2013
Finding Truth in Halloween
[***update- you might want to click over to this post for an updated (Oct. 2015) edited version of the coloring pages and book. Thanks!]
It's almost Halloween.
Will you be decorating with skulls or cornstalks?
Dressing your kid as a zombie or St. Francis?
Teaching about death and salvation or pretending that the holiday isn't really happening?
I have to admit, all of the "camps" of opinions about Halloween can be confusing. Redeem the holiday. Ignore the holiday. Revive the "holy day" in the holiday. Reject the dark, embrace the harvest. Focus on the Saints, forget about the evil...
There is great truth in the traditions and rituals of Halloween, and I think that instead of forgetting about them entirely, we can use this holiday (which the culture has abused) to teach kids about topics that can be easy to skip over, like death, purgatory, praying for the dead, relics, and good & evil.
My friend Bonnie at A Knotted Life is tackling her parish's All Saints Day party, and has set a goal for bringing in as much symbolic truth into the celebration as she can. You can read about her ideas here, which includes great plans for snacks, games, structure, and decorations. She also has a Pinterest board with all kinds of fabulous ideas.
Per her request, I put together some coloring pages with explanations, prayers, and Scripture to explain some of the "holy" found in All Hallow's Eve. I was more than happy to comply, because after talking about many of these things in my classroom last year, the idea of a teaching tool like this was something that I knew I would be able to use.
Click here for an 8 page mini book about All Hallow's Eve, including its origins and traditions, All Saints Day, relics, praying for the dead, Jack-O-Lanterns, Saints and souls, good and evil, etc.
Click here for one with info on a few of the traditions of All Hallow's Eve:
A Knotted Life.