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A Georgian holiday of an American friend2009-11-02 16:41
Halloween was celebrated recently. This holiday, which is alien to the Orthodox tradition, is now making its way in Georgia. The Orthodox community and Patriarchy severely criticize such novelty. What does this holiday mean and why does it have its supporters in today's Georgia?
"Well, you know who our friend is: it is America. They celebrate Halloween in America, so we will celebrate it as well", - headmaster told the pupils of one of the schools, and the English teacher handed out rhymes and songs about Halloween in English to the children and started preparing them for the holiday.
This fact became known to the Orthodox Parents Union, a non-governmental organization acting in Georgia. A week before Halloween, its representatives appeared at the doors of each school in Tbilisi and started distributing leaflets among parents and children. According to the leaflets, Halloween is not a traditional Christian holiday and is celebrated by Satanists. The leaflets contained examples of disastrous occurrences that happened to the Christian families after the celebration of Halloween.
Nevertheless, the schools paid no attention to the agitation and went on preparing for Halloween, the children diligently staging short turns and learning songs and rhymes by heart.
Several days before the Halloween celebration, the Georgian Patriarchy decided to interfere, having disseminated a special statement which said that a nation with the multi-century Christian culture ought not to celebrate this holiday, for it is a disgraceful act.
Patriarchy referred to the history of Halloween and stated that this is a pagan holiday of the ancient Celts; its origin is connected with the beliefs of the ancient people of England, Ireland and North France. Halloween is celebrated on the night of November 1, for the ancient Celts celebrated the coming New Year on that night.
According to their beliefs, the 1st of November marked the beginning of the time of cold, darkness and death; on that day, the Celts praised the pagan god of death and darkness Shamhain. On the New Year Eve, they put out all the lights and the next evening they set up a big fire and made sacrifices. On that day, according to the tradition, all the people wore the dresses of witches and fiends. The children dressed in the same way visited the houses and gathered presents and sweets; those who refused to give them anything as a present were played tricks upon.
As Patriarchy underlines, celebration of Halloween means returning to paganism and recognition of fire-worship.