The Origins of Halloween PowerPoint

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The Origins of Halloween PowerPoint
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  • , rated this resource Jun 20th
  • This appears to be a lovely powerpoint to introduce children of different backgrounds to understand the origins of Samhain but I do have a few gripes with it.

    Samhain is a time where the veil between the living world and the dead is said to be at its thinnest. It isn't just a time where spirits wander the earth to terrorise people into disguising themselves, it's a time where spirits would try to spend time with their loved ones, and yes, people would leave an empty space at the dinner table to commemorate them. Also, witches don't dwell on fear or evil. As a Wiccan teaching assistant, I hoped I could have used this to help educate my class on why we have Halloween and who might celebrate it, and I found that definition for a witch to be very offensive. This festival is also the Wiccan's new year marking changes of the seasons, death and rebirth and rememberence. A better definition of a witch could have been just saying there were traditionally seen as evil by The Church, leading to them Chrisitanising it, but nowadays can mean a person who would celebrate this occasion with a harvest feast and rituals to encourage positive changes for the new year.
    It is very common that Pagans/wiccans can't comfortably tell people about what we celebrate as they are already fed a warped view of witches and/or Pagans in their heads, and then proceed to judge us, as I've experienced on many occasions.
    From the Christian perspective, they were mainly viewed as evil, however, they were also misunderstood, as well as victims of a propaganda campaign to turn Pagan celebrations into Christian ones (some did dwell on pain but some were and are also positive and use rituals to make positive things happen).
    I feel that an opportunity was lost on explaining wholly the Origins and the modern celebrations of Samhain, how it's now become commercialised/become a time to just dress up as scary characters and get sweets or play a prank on people. Perhaps you could add a discussion on whether kids feel Halloween had lost its true meaning or not?

    I also felt that a lot of the Discuss questions were quite leading and had a negatively suggestive tone to them, especially the final question of the PowerPoint; I felt that wasn't a nice thing to ask children about whether it's appropriate, as it is meant to be a celebration (religious, at that) to remember past loved ones, hope for better for the future and enjoy a feast from harvested food.

    I just wish that there were more positives mentioned in it, like people traditionally cleaning their homes to rid it of negativity to make room for positive changes and a time to spend with loved ones. I always joke with my Christian mother than Samhain celebrations are to me like Christmas to her, except it's like Christmas and New years Eve rolled in one in terms of importance, family time and celebration.

    Please amend this PowerPoint as i personally would feel very uncomfortable showing my class this, especially as they're a curious bunch and this can easily leave a bad taste in their mouth about Halloween or at least those who wish to celebrate it.


    , Oct 30th
    • Good morning ReddingS,
      Thank you very much for commenting! It's great to hear from you :) I'm sorry to hear how unhappy you are with this resource. We will get it checked for you right away and see if we can makes some changes :)

      , Oct 30th
    • Hi there ReddingS,
      We have now fixed this mistake and emailed you the corrected resource - I hope you find it useful! It will also be updated on the website very soon.

      , Oct 31st
    • Much improved now. As a Wiccan, I agreed with ReddingS, but now feel it is much fairer.

      , Oct 31st
  • FYI - "Samhain" or "Oiche Shamhna" is a Gaelic festival, that was Christianised when Christianity came to Ireland, along with a host of other festivals. It did not originate in the UK.

    , Oct 26th
    • Good evening Nuna82,
      Thanks for getting in touch! We're just looking into this for you and we'll get back to you as soon as we can! :)

      , Oct 26th
    • Hi there Nuna82,
      Thank you for spotting this! Our lovely teacher and design teams have fixed the mistake and emailed the corrected resource to you! It will also be updated on the website very soon - I hope you find it useful!

      , Oct 27th
This PowerPoint is a great way to discuss the pros and cons of Halloween and to encourage children to make up their own minds about the ethics of this festival.

    This resource is available in Standard.
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    • Twinkl updated the Main Version on Oct 31st