Halloween and Children

Essay by ivzivkovicUniversity, Bachelor's March 2004

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Halloween: Symbolism and Traditions

"Children's literature that embraces the holidays carries traditions that allow the child to express its imagination and self-expression"

Halloween literature is a vehicle that carries numerous images that may be interpreted to be unsuitable for children. With strong ties to the pagan rituals of the Celtic tribes and today's practices of Wicca it is quite apparent why the previous statement may have merit. As literature, regarding this holiday, progressed so has the distance between the Wicca and Celtic relationship and the holiday being celebrated today. Washington Irving being one of the first writers to tackle this holiday and address it as a children's book probably never envisioned that Halloween will look like what it does today. His famous novel "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" doesn't directly tie in with the holiday but one cannot deny the association that readers and moviegoers make while enjoying this great piece of literary art.

As my group has mentioned, the holidays we are addressing are vehicles children may use to further their imagination in more ways than just by reading the literature regarding the said holiday. Halloween traditionally has many arts and crafts associated with it. Costume creating has long been a tradition until it became more convenient to purchase them. Carving of pumpkins is also a tradition embraced by the western culture, the end result being the most prominent symbol associated with Halloween. The jack-o'-lantern is a image one will find in numerous books, some that are centered to very young children like: Clifford's Halloween for children 3-6, and of course the previously mentioned Legend of Sleepy Hollow that has its Disney interpretations in a form of a cartoon or the more recent Tim Burton directed movie that draws more on the gothic aspect than an association with...