With Autumn celebrations over and the holidays rapidly advancing, it would seem that talk of pumpkins and costumes is behind us for another year. Not so for Christian Democrat (KDU-ČSL) party members Tomáš Zdechovský and Roman Celý, who released a statement today criticizing the replacement by local schools of the “peaceful” Czech All Souls Day (dušičky) with that “crazy” American holiday, Halloween.
Zdechovský, who seven years ago initiated the “Save the Baby Jesus” crusade against the Americanization of Czech Christmas, said in a statement: “School is one of the places where Czech traditions are transferred. All Souls Day is a feast of the dead, when we remember those who are no longer here with us. I see no reason why it should be exchanged for the Halloween craze which misses the true meaning of Czech All Souls.”
South Moravian Regional Deputy Roman Celý also criticized the trend of prioritizing American Halloween over Czech All Souls, going so far as to write a letter to the teacher of his 10-year-old son who had requested that the child bring a mask to school for a Halloween party.
“What made me write the letter was her uncompromising attitude that kids must bring a mask, because they will celebrate Halloween. Even though my 10-year-old son and his friend are saying that ‘it’s American shit, we have Czech souls’, the event is simply obligatory,” said Celý.
He continued: “I do not consider myself a fanatic, but I have a respect for tradition, and I do not want any pseudo-holidays, American, Eskimo, New Age crap, or otherwise turning dušičky into a parody.”
Zdechovský who, coincidentally, has a birthday on November 2, added: “Just as we fought against Santa, I will personally fight for Czech All Souls Day.”