Church slams Halloween in Mexico
Mexico's Roman Catholic church this week condemned Halloween as "damaging and against the faith," as conservatives sought to stem celebration...
The Associated Press
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's Roman Catholic church this week condemned Halloween as "damaging and against the faith," as conservatives sought to stem celebration of the ghouls-and-goblins holiday and return to the country's traditional Day of the Dead.
The U.S.-style holiday has made broad inroads in Mexico, with monster costumes almost as widely sold as the marigold flowers traditionally used to decorate relatives' graves during Nov. 1-2 Day of the Dead ceremonies, when families build altars and leave food, drink and flowers for the dearly departed.
"Those who celebrate Halloween are worshipping a culture of death that is the product of a mix of pagan customs," the Archdiocese of Mexico published in an article on its Web site Monday. "The worst thing is that this celebration has been identified with neo-pagans, Satanism and occult worship."
The archdiocese urged parents not to let their children wear Halloween costumes or go trick-or-treating — instead suggesting Sunday school classes to "teach them the negative things about Halloween," costume parties where children can dress up as Biblical characters, and candy bags complete with instructions to give friends a piece while telling them "God loves you."
The church suggested holding these activities Nov. 1 — the Catholic All Saints' Day — but didn't endorse the Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican holiday that also appears to have "pagan" roots.
Pre-Hispanic cultures celebrated a similar holiday in August, but after the Spanish conquest, historians say the date was changed to Nov. 1 to coincide with the Catholic holiday.
Meanwhile, the conservative Internet magazine Yo Influyo called on teachers to "eradicate" Halloween and "defend our culture."
"Halloween has not only invaded our daily lives, but what's worse, our workplaces," wrote columnist Roger Aguilar, referring to the Halloween decorations that are now common in offices and schools.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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