Thursday, November 1, 2012


HALLOWEEN PARADE DUE TO SANDY - Ask any New Yorker or New Jerseyites what day today is and they might say Halloween - and they'd be dead wrong. Both the Big Apple and The Garden State have postponed their ghoulish festivities by decree of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who both declared the parades and trick-or-treating be moved to a later date when emergency responders have had a chance to secure their respective locales. Meanwhile, New York City initially cancelled their annual event, but today the Mayor announced it would be moved to next week. 
Halloween looked likely to be an uncharacteristically somber affair as up and down the East Coast people come to terms with Sandy's aftermath. Across New York and Westchester, around 811,000 people were without power - with that number reaching a staggering eight million along the Eastern Seaboard. The outages in Manhattan have been attributed to a huge explosion at an electrical substation, which blew up when it was apparently overwhelmed by floodwater. 

Traveling around the city remains difficult as it would still be four to five days before limited operation could begin on the New York subway, according to Bloomberg, with some reports estimating it might take as long as 21 days for service to become fully functioning. Halloween at the White House was all out cancelled due to Sandy. After three straight years of passing out goodies to area students and military children in the White House driveway, President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, broke their Halloween tradition this year because of superstorm Sandy that walloped the East Coast. 
Hundreds of treat bags containing White House M&Ms, an orange-frosted, pumpkin-shaped sugar cookie, jelly beans and some dried fruit were be delivered to the White House Military Office and to school districts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia that would have participated in the celebration. Pumpkins used to decorate the White House will be donated to area shelters.

It’s Halloween, that wonderful day when people get to consume large amounts of candy and go to parties dressed up in costumes; however this year it is not so happy. The traditional Halloween parade of ghouls, ghosts and monsters in Greenwich Village in New York City, which attracts thousands of visitors and NYC residents every year, has been cancelled for the first time in 39 years after widespread flooding brought on by Hurricane Sandy. When mundane Holidays involve simply sense enjoyment - which for a child can mean games, presents, fireworks, and special food - we are indirectly teaching our children that we are living for material pleasure.

If we wish to raise our children to be absorbed only in thoughts of Lord Krishna, how should we treat these secular holidays? One approach is, as far as possible, to ignore them. ... But sometimes even when a child’s parents are fully convinced that observing devotional holidays is sufficient, avoiding materialistic celebrations is difficult. ... A second approach, therefore, is to find a way of relating nondevotional celebrations to Krishna. ... For example, one year on Halloween some of my high school girls dressed up as male devotees and went door to door selling Srila Prabhupada’s books. ... On Halloween night in the United States, children dress in costumes and go from house to house collecting candy and other treats. If we decide to have our children celebrate mundane occasions in the same way as the materialists, we greatly risk raising children whose idea of happiness is materialistic.

Śrīmati Urmila devi dasi :
“Observing Secular Holidays”

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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