Friday, October 31, 2008

It's Black and Orange Day, Charlie Brown!

Some consultants with the Toronto District School Board apparently have some misgivings about Hallowe'en. David Menzies dishes. According to Menzies, Hallowe'en is a day of religious significance for Wiccans. Oh really? Well, writing as someone of Celtic heritage, let me introduce the TDSB to another politically correct concept from the heady days of the identity-politics infected 1990s -- cultural misappropriation. Hands off, eh.

To be clear, Hallowe'en has developed organically in North American culture since the 19th century. It has borrowed its imagery, and its significance, from a variety of sources -- cultural and religious, secular and spiritual. It has significance in Christianity (All Saints Day), Celtic tradition (for Druids it was the eve of the New Year when the living and the dead both walked the earth), and even in Mexican culture (Dia de los Muertos), to name a few. It has developed over time as a distinctive North American secular festival with a distinctly North American iconography (i.e. Jack-o-lanterns). Not to put too fine a point on it, Hallowe'en is part of our Canadian culture.

Yeah, all that ... and it's just plain good fun for kids. Perhaps some bureaucrats need to take a step back from their empire building and their social engineering, and give themselves permission to lighten up just a little bit. The solutions to all of society's challenges will not be found in your Sociology 101 textbook. Oh, and by the way -- since we're talking about pluralism in schools here -- multiculturalism is supposed to be about addition, not subtraction. Well, isn't it?

Menzies identifies a few other concerns about Hallowe'en from the TDSB fuss-budgets and kill joys. Read the rest here.

As for me, I'd rather leave you with a few thousand words worth of pictures.

Andrews Scenic Acres, Halton Hills:

Pumpkin patch, Stonehaven, Halton Region, Ontario:

Happy Hallowe'en.

Photo credits: Jack of Hearts blog. Scary, huh?

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