Sydney Catholics Azelie and Joseph Harb reclaimed Halloween this year and it was no trick and all treat!
The tiny revellers were among growing numbers of families celebrating in a way both faithful and festive by ditching costumes of ghouls and goblins in favour of their favourite Saints.
As the night before All Saints’ Day followed by All Souls’ Day, it’s a festival with deeply religious roots and today being resurrected as a time of remembering Saints and departed souls, not just an opportunity to dress up, knock on neighbours’ doors and collect lollies.
Long-time parishioner of Belfield’s St Michael the Archangel Parish, Jessica Harb, said both of her young children had really enjoyed selecting their favourite Saints – Rita and Maximilian Kolbe – to emulate and learn about.
“I must say, as parents we are against the demonic, pagan characters associated with Halloween and thought this would be a beautiful way to start teaching them about the real reason behind it all.”
For the past few weeks we have sat down and gone through the Saints and at just three and four years old they took a real interest in selecting their favourite, learning about them and finally dressing up as them,” she said.
“You really are never too young to learn, and both of them have not stopped talking about their Saint since.
“I must say, as parents we are against the demonic, pagan characters associated with Halloween and thought this would be a beautiful way to start teaching them about the real reason behind it all.
“It’s a fantastic way to reclaim Halloween, so many parents embraced the idea of dressing their kids up as Saints, which I think will grow in popularity every year.”