Monday, November 03, 2008

Ghosts and Goblins and Ghouls…Oh My!!!

Well, it has been a busy week or so, socially in the Smith household but not that much of interest to report on.
Halloween was the main event for the boys with a certain Star Wars feel to the day…..

I had taken Jacob to a birthday party earlier in the day, which was fancy dress, and very noisy, (what is it with little girls and screaming?). Plenty of party games ensued, which haven’t changed since before I was Jacob’s age, but the big hit was the trampoline. Being the working father of the household, I see the fact that most parties are held during the week as a perk of the job and, the once in a blue moon attendance as a small price to pay.
Trampolines are common place in Oman, it is just one of those things that get the children out of the house during the cooler winter months and tires them out. Just the day before I spent an hour or so sweating away whilst putting Jacob’s one back together.
We take our one down for the summer in order to minimise the damage caused but the sun, which literally destroys plastic products. The padding to the upright poles and the spring protection lasted less than a year and a half before disintegrating in my hands as I dismantled the trampoline last May. It is quite shocking to see how quickly so much damage can be done by the intense sunlight here.

After the party we went over to the Dolphin Centre to meet up with Becky and Oscar for a Halloween parade and an evening of ‘Trick or Treat’.

This is one of our most fun ‘holidays’ in the West, it has lost its religious significance for most people and we celebrate it simply because it is enjoyable to do so.

Falling on the 31st October, Halloween is only the herald of the holiday that medieval Christian Europeans were intended to celebrate, All Saints' Day, on the 1st November.
The story behind the term itself, which is short for "the eve before All Hallows' Day," refers to the fact that saints of Christianity were "hallowed" individuals. It is thought that the Church decided All Saints' Day should fall on the 1st November (in A.D. 834) to make it coincide with its precursor, a Celtic festival of the harvest. By "overwriting" the pagan origins of Halloween, perhaps the ‘new’ Christian religion could steal some thunder from the lingering Celtic influence in Europe. But if this was the Church's intention, the strategy backfired to some degree as people had much more interest in honouring dead ancestors than in honouring dead Christian saints.
Whilst ‘Trick or Treating’ was not prevalent during my childhood in the UK, everyone looked forward to scary stories and maybe a Halloween party to go to with the chance to dress up.
This year, the school did not have its annual Halloween fair as, I believe, some people had previously complained that they were celebrating a ‘pagan’ ritual. This annoys me somewhat and, whilst I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, they should be comfortable enough in their beliefs, not to feel threatened by it.
Given that our current image of Father Christmas was painted by Haddon Sundblom for Coca Cola’s advertising in the 1930’s and Santa has his origins in pagan rituals, will these same people object to Christmas festivities? PuurLeaseee………..

Since the weekend Becky has had to deal with Men’s flu….It started with Oscar having a cough and a fever, to Jacob having a stomach bug with a night of vomit and diarrhoea, to me suffering from dizziness and aches and pains. Fortunately, all of us are on the mend now, but a little more sympathy wouldn’t go amiss.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in some prime real estate in London, I suggest you take a look at the following link ;)
The Telegraph online

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was lovely cathing up on all you had done and seeing some new photos. forgot to ask how the turkey went down but glad you have mastered bubble and squeak will try to get you this evening after taking Moe out.