Has the Grinch Also Stolen Halloween?

October 31, 2013 :: Austin Fennel
Moderated by Terry Shillington

Dr. Seuss composed the children's story, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," in which a mean old critter attempted to steal Christmas from a family, only to have a change of heart.

The question may be posed whether the present form of Halloween is an expression of another theft. Since the Middle Ages, Halloween was part of a three-day festival. Various Celtic influences imported themselves into the festival, making it joyful and/or spooky. As time has gone by, a great variety of customs and practices began to colour the event.

Commercialization and media hype have had a big influence on Halloween in recent years. If you have not visited Halloween Alley in Lethbridge around Center Village Mall, you should, just to see the potential for this Halloween.

Various individuals and groups have tried to redeem the way in which Halloween is overdone. Nevertheless, absurd and extreme practices continue, which may be the reason why some are quite serious in opposing the day altogether.

Finally, what does it mean for a festival to lose its roots, as is the case with Halloween and many other festivals?

Speaker: Austin Fennell

Dr. Austin Fennell is a retired minister of the United Church. He has chaired the SACPA Board for a few years, as well as the Lethbridge Symphony Association, and the Board of the United Church Historical Society. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, St. Andrew's College and the University of Glasgow (Ph.D.) More recently he has been engaged in researching various aspects of Lethbridge History, publishing a book in 2011 on the early years of Southminster United Church.

Moderator: Terry Shillington
Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr S Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch)
Visit the SACPA website: http://www.sacpa.ca

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