Poll

Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?

Yes
86 (38.2%)
No
92 (40.9%)
Maybe
18 (8%)
Unsure
19 (8.4%)
Other (Explain)
10 (4.4%)

Total Members Voted: 225

Author Topic: Is it OK for Orthodox Christians to celebrate Halloween?  (Read 217699 times)

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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #810 on: October 05, 2016, 01:17:26 PM »
Personally, I'm most put off by the focus on (a) decay, (b) gore, and (c) "sexy" costumes.  Kids dressing up is one thing; glorifying the macabre is another.
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #811 on: October 05, 2016, 03:31:25 PM »
Personally, I'm most put off by the focus on (a) decay, (b) gore, and (c) "sexy" costumes.  Kids dressing up is one thing; glorifying the macabre is another.
+1

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #812 on: October 05, 2016, 03:34:32 PM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?
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Offline Luke

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #813 on: October 05, 2016, 04:41:44 PM »
The pros and cons of Halloween get discussed annually this time of year.  Here is a thread on it:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,61556.msg1213369.html#msg1213369

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #814 on: October 05, 2016, 08:43:19 PM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

Great Friday is not about "glorifying the macabre." It's about remembering the suffering of our Lord, yes, but always in the context of His coming Resurrection and how the cross is Christ's victory over death. We don't celebrate Christ's death just because we enjoy seeing Christ hung on a tree, but rather because we know it's an essential part of our salvation.
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #815 on: October 06, 2016, 10:27:22 AM »
Yes to thread title.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #816 on: October 06, 2016, 03:05:01 PM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #817 on: October 06, 2016, 03:10:07 PM »
Happy Halloween!
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #818 on: October 06, 2016, 03:22:33 PM »
Personally, I'm most put off by the focus on (a) decay, (b) gore, and (c) "sexy" costumes.  Kids dressing up is one thing; glorifying the macabre is another.

Succinct, and reasonable.

To me one of the most unfortunate aspects is the turning of cemeteries into something creepy. 


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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #819 on: October 06, 2016, 03:38:00 PM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.

There are several features in Orthodoxy that glorify decay more than Halloween ever would.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #820 on: October 06, 2016, 03:38:43 PM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.

There are several features in Orthodoxy that glorify decay more than Halloween ever would.

Such as?
"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" - Mark 8:36 (DRA)

Offline Arachne

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #821 on: October 06, 2016, 03:45:15 PM »
To me one of the most unfortunate aspects is the turning of cemeteries into something creepy.

Night visits to cemeteries are effective year-round. ;D
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Offline Georgios Scholarios

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #822 on: October 06, 2016, 03:50:44 PM »
I believe Halloween does have some of its origin in the Celtic pagan festival Samhain, which is often (but wrongly) associated with a god of death with a similar name. Nonetheless, Samhain may have involved human sacrifice, although this is not very clear one way or the other.
That said, Halloween practices also have Christian origins. Most here probably know that "Halloween" is short for "All Hallows' Eve," the day before All Saints' Day, which itself is the day before All Souls' Day. Practices like trick-or-treat had some origin in England where the poor would go door-to-door asking for bread in return for prayers for the departed.

The above information I took from the book Halloween from Pagan Ritual to Party Night by Nicholas Rogers. I skimmed it briefly last week after the topic of Halloween came up in my parish.

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #823 on: October 06, 2016, 04:21:14 PM »
Yes to thread title.

But only if it doesn't fall on a fast day.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #824 on: October 06, 2016, 04:27:08 PM »
Nonetheless, Samhain may have involved human sacrifice, although this is not very clear one way or the other.

No.
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Offline sestir

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #825 on: October 06, 2016, 04:53:42 PM »
Practices like trick-or-treat had some origin in England where the poor would go door-to-door asking for bread in return for prayers for the departed.

Interesting!
Do you think, if I ask the heathen kids who scraped my car yesteryear because I didn't have any candy, if they will pray for my uncle who was murdered recently, that they will know how to pray and do it sincerely in exchange for chocolate? (They can have 1 kg)

Or will they just conclude that scraping cars is lucrative, although with a one-year lag?

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #826 on: October 06, 2016, 07:43:32 PM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.

There are several features in Orthodoxy that glorify decay more than Halloween ever would.

Such as?

Eating blood.  But, hey, it's cultural.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #827 on: October 07, 2016, 01:57:32 AM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.

There are several features in Orthodoxy that glorify decay more than Halloween ever would.

Such as?

Relic veneration, all other things that require digging up graves, the skull motive present in paintings or worship clothes, some funeral practices including open casket and kissing the corpse, some traditions regarding commemorating the dead like partying on cemeteries, liturgical commemorating anniversaries of brutal deaths and other massacres.
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Offline biro

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #828 on: October 07, 2016, 02:52:19 AM »
We do commemorate the finding of St. John's the Forerunner's severed head.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #829 on: October 07, 2016, 07:42:52 AM »
glorifying the macabre is another.

What's wrong with Great Friday?

I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.

There are several features in Orthodoxy that glorify decay more than Halloween ever would.

Such as?

Relic veneration, all other things that require digging up graves, the skull motive present in paintings or worship clothes, some funeral practices including open casket and kissing the corpse, some traditions regarding commemorating the dead like partying on cemeteries, liturgical commemorating anniversaries of brutal deaths and other massacres.

We do all of these things, not as a celebration of death, but rather a celebration of the coming Resurrection of the Dead, that death has been defeated and has no power. We commemorate martyrs for their courage and love of Christ, and venerate their remains in reverence of how the saints used their bodies to glorify God.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 07:44:46 AM by HaydenTE »
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #830 on: October 07, 2016, 10:06:09 AM »
We do all of these things, not as a celebration of death, but rather a celebration of the coming Resurrection of the Dead, that death has been defeated and has no power. We commemorate martyrs for their courage and love of Christ, and venerate their remains in reverence of how the saints used their bodies to glorify God.

so these are actually the same things but they are ok when done by the Orthodox and not ok when done on Halloween only because of the philosophy you apply to them?
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #831 on: October 07, 2016, 12:14:53 PM »
We do all of these things, not as a celebration of death, but rather a celebration of the coming Resurrection of the Dead, that death has been defeated and has no power. We commemorate martyrs for their courage and love of Christ, and venerate their remains in reverence of how the saints used their bodies to glorify God.

so these are actually the same things but they are ok when done by the Orthodox and not ok when done on Halloween only because of the philosophy you apply to them?

They're not the same things, even if the philosophy applied is different. 
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #832 on: October 07, 2016, 12:33:16 PM »
Plants vs. Zombies marathons are acceptable either way.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #833 on: October 07, 2016, 12:44:53 PM »
We do all of these things, not as a celebration of death, but rather a celebration of the coming Resurrection of the Dead, that death has been defeated and has no power. We commemorate martyrs for their courage and love of Christ, and venerate their remains in reverence of how the saints used their bodies to glorify God.

so these are actually the same things but they are ok when done by the Orthodox and not ok when done on Halloween only because of the philosophy you apply to them?

They're not the same things, even if the philosophy applied is different. 

so how are they different?
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #834 on: October 07, 2016, 12:57:12 PM »
We do all of these things, not as a celebration of death, but rather a celebration of the coming Resurrection of the Dead, that death has been defeated and has no power. We commemorate martyrs for their courage and love of Christ, and venerate their remains in reverence of how the saints used their bodies to glorify God.

so these are actually the same things but they are ok when done by the Orthodox and not ok when done on Halloween only because of the philosophy you apply to them?

They're not the same things, even if the philosophy applied is different. 

so how are they different?

Well, perhaps it would be useful to understand where you're coming from when you apply a concept like "glorifying decay" to things like open casket funerals.  When my father died, his casket was open and we embraced and kissed his body.  We weren't glorifying terminal lung cancer, though. 

ISTM that your "list" of Orthodox practices that glorify decay or the macabre or whatever reflects either a desire to be contrarian or a fairly perverted understanding of Orthodox faith and practice.   
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #835 on: October 07, 2016, 01:25:39 PM »
We Orthodox don't glorify decay unless it's presided over by a Romanov.
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Offline William T

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #836 on: October 09, 2016, 10:58:54 PM »
We do all of these things, not as a celebration of death, but rather a celebration of the coming Resurrection of the Dead, that death has been defeated and has no power. We commemorate martyrs for their courage and love of Christ, and venerate their remains in reverence of how the saints used their bodies to glorify God.

so these are actually the same things but they are ok when done by the Orthodox and not ok when done on Halloween only because of the philosophy you apply to them?

They're not the same things, even if the philosophy applied is different. 

so how are they different?

I think the attitude of the macabre came up around the time  in the West where a Augustinian kind of theological pessimism towards man and the black death were both the mainstream of things, this is hardly a praiseworthy sentiment towards things.

To hold in honor family crypts, historic graves, Normandy, monuments, or even things like Dachau is not the same thing as the glorifying the macabre..nor would any of those things be appropriate Halloween themed costumes or parties.  If someone did that, most people would think you were certifiable, if not even somewhat criminal or sacrilegious.  I think what people are talking about how it's not the same thing, are thinking something along those lines.

When most people dress up like zombies or whatever, it's 99.5% of the time meant for humor or a good natured scare.  I guess there are a few people and art forms that really dwell on a despairing side of things like that, serial killers, cannibals, black magic, Hugh Jackman, etc.  It's here where the really whacked out versions of alienation, pessimism, and despair come into play I think.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 10:59:23 PM by William T »
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #837 on: October 10, 2016, 02:04:22 PM »
Even though I know that the thing with ghosts, zombies, demons, vampires, skeletons, etc. actually came from the Catholic Church (being that I have just left the Catholic Church), I heard a lot of Orthodox priests speak out against Halloween, based on their misinformation from the Chick Tracts and Fundamentalists. I know that just because something is pagan doesn't mean it's damned forever. "Samhain" is not a pagan God, "Samhain" is a Celtic translation of the "end-of-summer". I actually watched an interesting video about the Orthodox Christian view on Halloween, listen to it throughly (very detailed):

https://youtu.be/FRw8gFo66BE

Even though they do not consider something condemned because of pagan or non-Christian origin, they still look at the themes of Halloween as something disturbing. So in a nutshell, the priests in the video condemned Halloween. One priest in the video said that just because someone doesn't believe in Halloween ghosts, skeletons, and vampires, doesn't mean they're not dabbling with spiritually dangerous stuff when dressing up as or celebrating these things.
However, the real origins of the ghosts, zombies, skeletons, vampires being celebrated on Halloween actually came from the Catholic Tradition of "Danse Macabre", believing that Christ defeated death and they mock skeletons, vampires, zombies, ghosts, etc.with pride, knowing that death can no longer conquer the world. It can also be noted that Kirk Cameron said something similar about Halloween. Catholics also believe that in Halloween night, the veil between heaven, hell, and purgatory is at its thinnest, allowing ghosts and souls to creep into the mortal world. I still do not know whether its OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween. With all of that being taken into consideration, would it be OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween (particularly as in mocking death with glee and pride)?
What's there to celebrate... ???
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #838 on: October 10, 2016, 02:37:08 PM »
For Western Christians, it's the eve of All Saints' Day.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #839 on: October 11, 2016, 04:22:09 PM »
The point of how Catholics made and celebrate Halloween in a nutshell is that they dress up as freaky stuff like vampires, ghosts, etc. to say "Na-Ne-Na-Ne-Nah-Nah!" and "Haha!" to death with glee knowing that Christ conquered death and death no longer has power to rule. Is the idea of scoffing, laughing at, or mocking death because it's been defeated offensive in Orthodox Christianity?

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #840 on: October 11, 2016, 04:24:11 PM »
It's offensive because the non-Orthodox invented that. If that was a Moldovan tradition for example everyone would be ok with that.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #841 on: October 11, 2016, 04:51:55 PM »
It's offensive because the non-Orthodox invented that. If that was a Moldovan tradition for example everyone would be ok with that.

I disagree.

I think you are just trying to be contrarian...make some silly point.

The Orthodox never glorify gore or death.  In face we celebrate because Christ has destroyed death...not the other way around.  We are no longer bound by death.

Halloween, on the other hand...celebrates all the gruesomeness of decay, rot, sickness, evil worship...and a final death....none of which have anything in common with Orthodoxy.

We pray for good health, purity, chastity and resurrection of the dead.  These are polar opposites.

Digging up the relics of a saint, and worshiping God through His saints...has nothing in common with dressing as a zombie, with eyes decaying and running around chasing people.

Nor does pretending to be a satanist, a witch, an ax murder, etc...have anything to do with Orthodoxy.

We visit cemeteries in order to honor our dead, with the assurance of their resurrection in Christ.  We kiss the body of a departed loved one, because it once housed their soul, and will again. 

Stop trying to always disgrace what is ours.  You are a super intelligent young man.  I am not sure why you always wish to spout negativity.  Use those brains, the wisdom, and spread the joy and the light of Orthodoxy.  Support our beliefs, bolster our followers, educate those who are lost in the darkness...don't support them by belittling and attempting to disqualify the Church....because in so doing....you may lead people astray...and that's one thing I am certain you do not wish to do.
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #842 on: October 11, 2016, 05:40:25 PM »
I'm not sure that we glorify the gory and deathly - I think we remember them, but don't overdo it with focusing on the pain/gore per se.  They are a sign of his love (that he willingly endured them), not something to be objectified and venerated.  That, in my experience, is vastly different than the glorification of decay, grotesque, etc. that happens in the States around this time.
There are several features in Orthodoxy that glorify decay more than Halloween ever would.

Not glorifying the death and decay - glorifying the person (who was glorifying God) who was willing to undergo such death and decay.  Hence our tendency to celebrate equally those who passed into eternal life peacefully and those who died by violence - all were worthy of emulation for their own reasons, and their faithful dedication is honored as an example of how we too can find union with Him.

The other examples - open caskets, iconography, etc. - are all covered by the principle above.  It's not the gore, it's the person and their faith.  If their passing were not gory, then it would be fine.  If they passed into the Kingdom without dying a physical death, they would be honored as well.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #843 on: October 11, 2016, 06:26:29 PM »

The Orthodox never glorify gore or death.
uhh

There's a reason why martyr accounts got gorier in description as time progressed, especially in the 1800's.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 06:27:18 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #844 on: October 11, 2016, 06:29:14 PM »

The Orthodox never glorify gore or death.
uhh

What?  We don't.

If you are thinking that we have many saints whom died horrific deaths, tortures, etc....we do not glorify their deaths, or methods of death...but, the fact that they persevered...that they trusted in God enough to overcome their fears, and stood firm.

If you are thinking of Christ and his crucifixion.  Again...we do not glorify his suffering on the Cross.  We honor Him, that He undertook such suffering on our behalf...and we praise Him and His Resurrection.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #845 on: October 11, 2016, 07:29:39 PM »
True Orthodox dress up as devils on Christmas. Given that, I don't see anything wrong with it if you are British or Murican.
Please tell me more?
I only know about how during Christmas carols Orthodox dress as the animals from Jesus' manger.
In some parts of Western Europe (Germany especially), they dress as a devil called Krampus and cause harm to people while wearing the costumes.

BAD:


More evil:



OK, I made my point.

I don't see this as part of Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Arab, or Greek Orthodoxy.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #846 on: October 11, 2016, 11:52:41 PM »
I don't see this as part of Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Arab, or Greek Orthodoxy.





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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #847 on: October 11, 2016, 11:54:56 PM »
I don't see this as part of Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Arab, or Greek Orthodoxy.






It's not clear to me it's a demon and not supposed to be a theatrical animal costume/mask.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #848 on: October 11, 2016, 11:56:50 PM »
Happy Halloween!

Who takes that kind of photo? It seems weird.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #849 on: October 11, 2016, 11:59:20 PM »
It's not clear to me it's a demon and not supposed to be a theatrical animal costume/mask.

A devil.
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #850 on: October 12, 2016, 12:43:34 AM »
It's not clear to me it's a demon and not supposed to be a theatrical animal costume/mask.

A devil.

Interesting. Reminds me of how Finnish Santa Claus used to look like back in the days. You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 12:44:57 AM by Alpo »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #851 on: October 12, 2016, 12:56:21 AM »
Yes, I don't think there is a devil in the slavic photos.
It looks more like this:

horned reindeer

than this:


After studying about and staying in E.Europe and Scandinavia for half a year, Halloween has never felt "normal" to me. It doesn't have a wholesome, reasonable explanation like, say, Thanksgiving. It's some weird pagan thing.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 12:56:57 AM by rakovsky »
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #852 on: October 12, 2016, 12:58:06 AM »
The Devil is also a popular Christmas personage.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 12:59:00 AM by mike »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #853 on: October 12, 2016, 01:16:50 AM »
It's not clear to me it's a demon and not supposed to be a theatrical animal costume/mask.

A devil.

Interesting. Reminds me of how Finnish Santa Claus used to look like back in the days. You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry.


This reminds me of the krampus thing.

"Joulupukki"

"Father Frost?"

Where do they get these drawings?:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RQlikX4vvw
Quote
An old Scandinavian custom, the figure eventually became more or less conflated with Santa Claus.

...
The Joulupukki or "Yule Buck" is originally a pagan tradition. He is connected to Wōden of norse mythology and said to wear tight red leather pants and a tight fur trimmed red leather coat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joulupukki
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Re: Is it OK for an Orthodox Christian to celebrate Halloween?
« Reply #854 on: October 12, 2016, 01:17:09 AM »
The Devil is also a popular Christmas personage.
I don't think so in Orthodox lands.
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