A few days ago, I wrote an article titled “Do Trick-or-Treating and All Saints’ Day Go Together?” where I revealed to you that my family goes trick-or-treating dressed as Saints. I view this as being witnesses to the world, and taking back our own Catholic feast day of All Hallows Eve. (In fact, I wrote an article a few years ago about putting the “Hallow” back in “Halloween”.)
So, how do you explain How Halloween ties into All Saints’ Day to kids?
“Hallow” is a word that means “Holy”. We even say it in the Our Father- “hallowed be thy name”. We celebrate All Saints’ Day on November 1st. This day can also be called “All Hallows Day” because it’s the day about all the Holy people- the Saints. The day before All Saints’ Day is called “All Hallows Eve”, just like the day before Christmas is called “Christmas Eve”. Over time, people just started saying “Halloween” instead of “All Hallows Eve”.
Although we go out dressed as Saints, lets face it. Most people don’t. There are going to be plenty of cutesy costumes, such as fairies and super heroes, but there are certainly going to be witches, goblins, bleeding people, and even multiple devils and demons.
So, how do you explain all the scary Halloween stuff to kids? Here’s what I told my kids.
We know that All Saint’s Day is about the Saints. Saints are simply people who are in heaven with Jesus, so they are all already dead. Over time, people started forgetting that this holiday was about the Saints, and they got confused, thinking it was really just about dead people.
My daughter really seemed to understand this answer. Of course, when they get older, you can explain to them that the Catholic church used to purposely place religious feast days over pagan holidays in an attempt to steal some thunder, and it has actually worked quite well. That’s a little complicated for the little ones, though.
When we are trick-or-treating, even people in scary costumes are pretty courteous about kids. No one wants to scare a child. It’s not like as we trick-or-treat that bloody people are popping out of bushes with chain saws. It’s pretty family friendly, and doesn’t seem to be a serious issue.