At our church we do not celebrate Halloween, we celebrate Harvest Season. At the party we use the theme of God's creations. The kids as well as the adults have the option to dress up as any of God's creations of the first 6 days of creation. It's a lot of fun and a success. Some come dressed as vegetables, animals, fish, birds, plants, trees, stars, fruits, sun, clouds, rain, eagles, the globe, Adam, Eve, any many more.
We then group them to their correspondent creation day and have a small parade so everyone can enjoy. The leader announces some thing like "and God created on the fifth day the birds and the sea creatures" then all the birds, fish or sea creatures come out. It's lots of fun and serves as a teaching or review on what God created.
What a wonderful idea and the children don't end up feeling left out of mainstream society because they can still dress up and they are learning about God and the Bible, too :-)
That is a lovely idea that I hope is spread to more churches and schools.
Jewish people celebrate the harvest season in October with a lovely, joyous holiday called Sukkot.
...On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for the L-RD. -Leviticus 23:34
Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival.
The word "Sukkot" means "booths," and refers to the temporary dwellings that we are commanded to live in during this holiday in memory of the period of wandering.
The Hebrew pronunciation of Sukkot is "Sou COAT," but is often pronounced as in Yiddish, to rhyme with "LOOK us."
The temporary shelter is referred to as a sukkah (rhymes with book-ah).
The sukkah is great fun for the children. Building the sukkah each year satisfies the common childhood fantasy of building a fort, and dwelling in the sukkah satisfies a child's desire to camp out in the backyard. The commandment to "dwell" in a sukkah can be fulfilled by simply eating all of one's meals there; however, if the weather, climate, and one's health permit, one should spend as much time in the sukkah as possible, including sleeping in it.
The "walls" of the sukkah do not have to be solid; canvas covering tied or nailed down is acceptable and quite common in the United States. A sukkah may be any size, so long as it is large enough for you to fulfill the commandment of dwelling in it. The roof of the sukkah must be made of material referred to as sekhakh (literally, covering). To fulfill the commandment, sekhakh must be something that grew from the ground and was cut off, such as tree branches, corn stalks, bamboo reeds, sticks, or two-by-fours.
It is common practice, and highly commendable, to decorate the sukkah. In the northeastern United States, Jews commonly hang dried squash and corn in the sukkah to decorate it, because these vegetables are readily available at that time. Many families hang artwork drawn by the children on the walls. Building and decorating a sukkah is a fun family project, much like decorating the Christmas tree is for Christians
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