“We Do Not Want to Celebrate Halloween!”
BY AWAKE! WRITER IN BELGIUM
That was the decision of a school class in Tienen, Belgium. How did the students come to that decision? In Belgium, celebrating Halloween is rather new. October 31, 2002, was actually the first time that the holiday was to be celebrated in this school. So before that day arrived, the teacher assigned all the children a project having to do with Halloween. “The uglier and more grotesque, the better!” she added.
One of the children in the class was 10-year-old Matthias. He remembered reading about the hidden dangers of such popular celebrations as Halloween in the October 8, 2001, issue of Awake! He realized that Halloween involves things that are not pleasing to God. So for his project, Matthias wrote a report based on the articles. After carefully reading the information, Matthias’ teacher concluded that Halloween is not as innocent as is commonly thought. She then asked Matthias to give a presentation to the class on the subject.
When Matthias began his presentation, some of the other pupils did not seem to be listening. But as he continued, all of them became thoroughly engrossed in his explanation. When he finished, the teacher asked the class if they still wanted to celebrate Halloween. Unanimously, the class responded: “No!” One pupil exclaimed: “It’s gruesome!” Another said: “I did not realize that Halloween shows so little respect for the people who have died.”
For Matthias, who had previously been rather timid, this experience was strong encouragement to stick to his Bible-based convictions despite pressure. He also earned greater respect as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, both from his teacher and from his classmates.