Monday, 31 October 2011

Who's tops today?

One reason for not liking Hallowe'en much is that its feeble modern version has been imported from America (never mind about Walpurgisnacht and all that) and has come to overshadow our fireworks on November 5th. This good old British anti-Catholic festival (originally a pagan celebration) is much more fun than silly trick-or-treat and pumpkins, and gives us the opportunity of burning in effigy whoever we want to stand in for the Pope or Guy Fawkes (Nadine Dorries? Bashar al-Assad? David Tredinnick? Simon Cowell?).

Another reason is that it is condemned by some Christians who consider it a satanic ritual. Catholic parents are being advised to celebrate Hallowe'en by dressing up their children as popular saints instead of witches and devils: "...they should kit out their youngsters to look like St George, St Lucy, St Francis of Assisi or St Mary Magdalene rather than let them wear costumes that celebrate evil or occult figures", according to a campaign endorsed by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and at a season when people are expecting a knock on the door their accompanying parents can take the opportunity of doing some proselytising. This sounds like a splendid opportunity for a bit of fun for all the family.

But let Jesus and Satan fight it out over October 31st: a plague on both their houses, and a few days later we can commemorate the pathetic attempt of poor old Guy and his friends to replace King James 1st with a dynasty of Papists. Even those who dislike the Windsors would not maintain that we would have been better off had the plot succeeded.


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