From Our Readers
Halloween With reference to your article “Popular Celebrations—Harmless Fun?” (October 8, 2001), I would like to clarify something. You refer to “Guy Fawkes Night,” also popularly known as bonfire night in Britain. Guy Fawkes Night is certainly a festival that Christians should avoid. It is a political festival, glorifying the execution of a man. But whereas the date of this festival (November 5) is close to Halloween and there is some overlap between bonfire night and Halloween, bonfire night is not a part of the spiritistic festival of Halloween.
P. B., Britain
“Awake!” responds: Halloween was chosen as an example of a popular custom with an unsavory origin. The Lantern Festival in Taiwan and Guy Fawkes Night were cited as celebrations that “resemble” Halloween in certain respects. However, we did not mean to imply that either of these celebrations actually is a part of Halloween or that they share a similar origin. Even so, in view of their similarity to Halloween—a celebration that clearly has spiritistic overtones—readers are wise to consider the origins of these festivals in making a decision as to whether or not to share in them.
Thank you for showing how Halloween has a connection with the occult. People view it as harmless and fun, but some have got into serious trouble because of it. Children who roam around at night can injure themselves or be given tainted candy. One girl in my neighborhood had to be taken to the hospital. Some teenagers feel that Halloween is an occasion to roam the streets and vandalize people’s homes. One well-meaning householder who handed out treats found that her generosity backfired; a child lied and falsely accused her of handing out tainted candy. In spite of all of this, Halloween is still a big celebration in my neighborhood. I hope all my neighbors will read your excellent article.
G. H., United States
Toys Thank you for the item in the “Watching the World” section entitled “Too Many Toys.” (October 8, 2001) I have a 15-month-old daughter who had four boxes of toys in her room. Everything would be scattered around, and she could never decide what to play with. When my father pointed out this item in Awake! I read it immediately and reduced the number of her toys to half a box. Now my daughter again takes delight in playing with her toys.
P. G., Germany
Leif Eriksson I want to thank you for the article “Leif Eriksson—Discoverer of America?” (September 22, 2001) We are studying about Columbus in our history lessons. When my teacher told us that Columbus discovered America, I raised my hand and said I had read that Leif Eriksson may have discovered America 500 years earlier. I did some further research, printing out other Awake! articles about Columbus. My teacher read through them and was impressed at everything I had found.
M. D., Germany
Bible Reading Thank you for the article “Young People Ask . . . How Can I Make Bible Reading More Enjoyable?” (August 22, 2001) I always thought that reading the Bible was boring and that I would never manage to read through such a thick book. But when because of this article I tried reading the Bible, I found out that it is very interesting. Now I am reading the Bible regularly.
M. S., Germany