Friday, October 30, 2009

Costumes for the Holiday

Every year, I am surprised by how our nation, while normally not so publicly religious, really gets into tomorrow’s holiday – with costumes, decorations and rituals.

I of course am referring to Reformation Day, the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the cathedral door.

So many cute Reformation Day traditions.

Like kids knocking on doors (reminiscent of the knocking made by Luther’s hammer), requesting mock indulgences (candy) for good behavior (not “tricking”).

Or pumpkin carving – an expression of the need to “clean out” the old ways while maintaining the structure of the religion.

Even our Starbucks, which doesn’t seem to do much for Easter, is all dressed up for the church this time of year.

I have to admit, I don’t always understand what some of the costumes I see have to do with Luther.

Some are obvious. Like vampires, mimicking the nature of eternal life through the Blood.

Or ghosts, clearly meant to reflect the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.

Or the pro-Catholic costumes, such as a Frankenstein I saw (I assume to show the monstrous consequence if all of the reforms were incorporated into the body willy-nilly); and a Jekyll/Hyde costume (commenting on the fractious nature of the church with all the splitting going on).


But I still don’t get what the sexy pirate costume has to do with reformation.

A little help here?

(Hold on, I’m being informed that there is another holiday on the same day… Oh, Halloween. Right. That makes a lot more sense.)

Never mind.

Just my thoughts,



David Goulet said...

And don't forget bobbing for apples, which shows we are not saved from Adam's sin by actions but by grace.

Toilet papering a house of course represents the rejection of Luther of a Papal Bull.

Sexy pirates? You need a reason for them? Just enjoy.

Linds said...

Apparently the whole "trick or treat" practice comes from the Reformation. All Saints' was the biggest holiday apart from Easter for the Catholic Church, with a huge feast that day and a prayer vigil the night before. Protestants, of course, did not celebrate it. In some towns, Protestant kids used to pull pranks on the Catholic families on All Hallow's Eve - or let the Catholics bribe them with soulcakes.

So... yeah. I need a hobby. :)

Anonymous said...


I'll venture a guess on the sexy pirates. They highlight that we have hijacked God's intended meanings for our own depravity.

But what about the Sexy Dorothys...