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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Halloween on the shelf
By Joanne Hughes
BBC News Online

Pumpkin face
Halloween is still commercially popular
Visitors to Wrexham may have noticed the town does not look as spooky as normal at this time of year.

The shops are stocking their usual halloween paraphernalia but there is a distinct lack of scary displays in Wrexham library.

Following advice from the local authority and complaints from members of the public in past years, librarians in the town will not be drawing attention to the pagan festival.

Rhosymedre Junior School Headteacher Roz Harrison, who is married to a vicar, said the move is a step in the right direction.

"I would not actively promote halloween but I'm personally against it," she said.

The council has a policy of not celebrating halloween because it's not one of the mainstream faiths
Wrexham librarian

While she says Wrexham Council has not directly told her the school cannot promote halloween, she would expect most other establishments to follow suit.

Observed on October 31- the eve of All Saints' Day - Halloween in Western countries is about ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and the supernatural.

"I'm a practising Christian and in the church the Sunday around halloween is the time that we remember all of those who died.

"All Saints is remembering all those who died, [halloween] is about making something scary and death isn't scary," added Mrs Harrison.

Trick or treat

In Britain, Halloween is associated with children playing 'Trick or Treat' - a game where they dress up and visit neighbours' houses threatening to play practical jokes on the inhabitants if not rewarded with sweets or money.

However, Roz Harrison, who has taught at Rhosymedre school for three years, said although she does not want to be a killjoy, she will warn youngsters against trick or treating around halloween.

"They don't know whose door they're knocking on," she said.

A spokesman for Wrexham library said they would not promote the pagan festival as there have been complaints from the public in the past.

"The council has a policy of not celebrating halloween because it's not one of the mainstream faiths," he said.

The local authority claim there is no definitive guideline about the promotion of halloween and they would leave any activities relating to the festival up to individual schools.




SEE ALSO:
Spooky or what?
31 Oct 97  |  UK News
When Wales welcomed witches
31 Oct 01  |  Wales


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