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Patti Wigington

Halloweenery: Orange & Black Day? Huh?

By October 17, 2007

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If there's one thing that makes me want to spork my eyes out during holidays it's when people try to rename something to something that it ain't. Case in point, a lot of schools have decided to rename their annual Halloween party as a "Harvest Party" or -- may the gods help us all -- a "Fall Festival." Apparently calling it what it is -- a HALLOWEEN PARTY -- might offend certain people. Presumably, those people are less offended if we celebrate fall or the arrival of the harvest.

A party-pooper principal in Colorado not only renamed her school's activity to a Fall Party, but she expressly forbid the wearing of costumes. Just to make sure no one accidentally showed up dressed as a Ninja Turtle or Hannah Montana, they moved the party to October 5. Fortunately, the folks of Anne Arundel, Maryland's county council realize the folly of renaming. After some of the local schools renamed Halloween "Orange and Black Day" -- probably the dumbest name-change ever -- county council members voted that Anne Arundel's schools should go ahead and just celebrate Halloween after all.

October 17, 2007 at 5:52 pm
(1) mutton says:

…what can I say but…”Stupid is as stupid does”. True Story.

October 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm
(2) cyndi says:

At the school I graduated from that day would have been known as “Spirit Day” as our school colors are orange and black :) I think schools make too much out of trying to not offend any particular sect that they end up offending everyone. mutton is right on the money – stupid is as stupid does.

October 18, 2007 at 2:53 pm
(3) aylwyn says:

My kids’ elementary school has adopted the dredded “Fall Festival” title for Halloween parties in the classroom, but more because the principal misunderstood us when members of the PTO wanted to have an actual fall festival like the old school did where we had a welcome back to school event along with games and food. LOL (This is one of her better interpretations of things we say. :P FYI the old school branched into two schools because of the high student population at the old)

I agree that’s it’s stupid to change the name because those that used to opt out are still opting out regardless of the name given to it.

October 18, 2007 at 4:50 pm
(4) Aaron Beck says:

Holy craptastic ultra bible thumper closed minded interpretations of old traditions. Sure, may have roots in Samhain. Do the thumpers really lose people to the “Dark side” because of Halloween? In which case, will their devil be fooled by a name change? Just makes me shake my head. Let the kids have fun. Your child will not become a satanist by dressing up as a skeleton or superman and going to look for candy at the neighbors.

October 21, 2007 at 1:11 pm
(5) Beth says:

Anne Arundel’s schools should go ahead and just celebrate Halloween after all.

Hmm….at least A.C. Md. has soome sense.

October 26, 2007 at 10:23 am
(6) AutumnWytch says:

Being from Colorado, I have watched this tomfoolery first hand and I think it’s ridiculous. But the support for the change was there from the ignorant righties who still think Pagans worship satan and their holidays are nothing but devil worship; and they are too lazy to find out for themselves what the true meaning of Halloween/Samhain is. But I look at it this way: this isn’t the first time people have tried to surpress the holiday – the church has been trying for years – and it’s survived. It’ll survive this nonsense, too.

BTW: I love what you’ve done with the About.com Pagan section, Ms. Wigington! I look forward to each and every newsletter and always find something interesting to read! Great job – keep it up!


October 26, 2007 at 3:29 pm
(7) V says:

Oh for crying out loud, what the heck is next? Christmas is birth-day?, new years is brand new day celebration, or maybe veterans day is “that day when old people were once young and fought in wars” day. Give me a break! I cant believe people get offended. I think people just look for an excuse to get attention. HEY, lets call “prison” The big box. i could go on, first holidays, then what.??

October 26, 2007 at 4:09 pm
(8) Alexandria Blackbird says:

I live across the street from a public school in New York City. This Sunday is their “October Fest” party – hmmmm…

October 31, 2007 at 2:53 pm
(9) paganwiccan says:

Autumn — thanks for the kind words! There have been a lot of changes here on the site, I know, and I appreciate everyone bearing with me while I rebuild things from the ground up. I hope to get a lot more ritual content posted in the next few months, and eventually add some e-courses as people have requested. Thanks for your support!


October 31, 2009 at 3:16 am
(10) Shannon says:

Oh my… If Halloween is offending people, they may as well get rid of Christmas, too, considering all of the other religions we have. What’s next? Red and Green Day? LAME.

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