27 October 2009

Hallowe'en. Again.

Two years ago, I wrote a post about Hallowe'en. Last year, I printed an informative article on the subject, Hallowe'en and Sikhs. This year, I am just writing a very short piece about my opinions of this holiday.

I have not celebrated Hallowe'en since my young son objected to it in about 1977, asking, "Why do we celebrate bad, imaginary things like the devil and demons? That doesn't seem very Sikh to me." He was right. There is enough evil - imaginary and otherwise - in Maya that I see no reason to celebrate.

I turn out the lights and let the trick-or-treaters go on to the next house. I don't preach about it, but I answer truthfully (generally without calling the devil and demons imaginary) when asked. Anyway, most Hallowe'en treats are bad for kids and it is no longer acceptable to give homemade goods because of the danger of poison or foreign objects.

And, of course, it is the day (appropriate, I think) of Mrs. Gandhi's execution and the beginning of the Delhi Pogrom.. Hardly a day for celebration.

Should you choose to celebrate, some suggestions can be found in Sukhmandir Kaur Khalsa's article in About.Sikhism, Is Hallowe'en A Good Idea For Sikhs? Should you not choose to celebrate, the column still contains a bunch of great information and you would, no doubt, learn quite a lot by reading it.


  1. Thank you Mai,
    I agree with you, I have difficulty even conceiving of celebrating anything ghastly and macabre. I certainly can think of no better costume than full regalia of a Sikh warriors bana. Living within Sikh principles treats are distributed freely any day of the year without the threats of trickery, we feed anyone who comes our door without their having to beg except perhaps to say enough already. Carving gourds into lantern is just good fun. Why restrict it to one night a year. My kids and their friend always like visiting the remnants of our garden looking for mature dried squash to carve into fanciful figures. I have carved pumpkins with the likeness of the Golden Temple a bearded turbaned singh, Khanda and Ik Onkar in celebration of Sikhi. There are somethings that just cannot be disguised by masquerade, who we are shines from within.

  2. Bhenji Sukhmandir,

    All of Sandeep's friends used to hang out at our family home in Montreal, as well. I remember when one kids was astonished that Sandeep had never had a McDonald's hamburger, Sandeep told him, "if you ever eat langar, you'll forget about eating animal corpses."

    Even now, of course, anyone who comes to us gets stuffed.

    Certainly, there is no more attractive clothing than full Sikh bana - and it's unisex, too! As long as the kids behave themselves while wearing it.



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