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Actually, Valentine's Day is really the Feast of Saint Valentine, so...technically that started as a religious day as well. A lot of Catholics celebrate this feast day. The word "holiday" has religious history, as well. It comes from the Old English word "haligdaeg" which means "holy day". We use it in a general sense today as a day to celebrate or in which ordinary activities like work are suspended.
Yeah, and particularly in the Middle Ages, it had EXTREMELY sexual overtones (Valentine's Day). So...apparently it's not okay for kids to daydream and dress up fancifully but it IS okay to have them participate in a ritual orgy, LOL.

That said: Our school ALWAYS does a H'ween parade! And yes, they call it an H'ween parade. So much fun and even the teachers dress up! Every year they do something awesome. They all went as football players one year, I mean every single teacher, it was hilarious. And last year all the teachers and aides in my son's class went as Despicable Me characters. One year one teacher went as an orchestra conductor and all the rest of the teachers went as members of the orchestra.

The principal did his own thing and wore a giant bizarre circus afro.
 

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Actually, Valentine's Day is really the Feast of Saint Valentine, so...technically that started as a religious day as well. A lot of Catholics celebrate this feast day. The word "holiday" has religious history, as well. It comes from the Old English word "haligdaeg" which means "holy day". We use it in a general sense today as a day to celebrate or in which ordinary activities like work are suspended.
Well, actually, thinking about this some more...the sexual ritual (coming of spring, fertility) was there first, St. Valentine was given the day Feb. 14 as his namesake and about two hundred years (I think? Have to look this up) later St. Valentine's Day, which wasn't originally celebrated as a day of love at all, was tied in with the sexualized ritual due to the vague proximity in times (winter ending, mid-Feb.) to become Valentine's Day as we think of it today (as being a day of romance).

There was technically no tie-in between an actual pre-Christian love/sex ritual and Valentine's Day (too much time went between the two) but people had been celebrating the ending of summer and the "rising of one's sap," so to speak, in one way or another for many centuries.

AFAIK, originally, there was no celebration for "Valentine's Day" at all except to recognize the saint, who was not known for love OR sex (again, AFAIK). I believe nearly every day on the calendar has a saint's day, some saints appear on more than one day.

ETA: Oh oops, way more than 200 years later. From Wiki: :"The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poetry about "Valentines" in the 14th century.[18]"
 

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My high school had a big carnival in the gym & with a haunted house in the basement of the school. Wonder now if that tradition is gone all these years later?
My elementary school held Halloween carnivals every year, which my friends and I would go to after finishing our trick-or-treating, and it was part of what made Halloween magical. They still had carnivals when my younger brother attended school, and I can't imagine it not happening anymore. Of course, we had what virtually every community in our country does: party poopers. One woman passed out booklets with the usual garbage about Halloween being the devil's holiday, featuring a story about a kid ending up in a hospital because of a razor blade in his candy.

The people in the town I'm living in now seem fine with Halloween (in spite of a severe shortage of decorations), but get this: there's a Russian community within this town, and a small number of residents actually believe that these Russian people are driving door-to-door, asking people if they'd like to hand over their children for prostitution. Even a paranoid friend of mine laughed her butt off at that one. I told her that maybe I should buy a Russian flag, visit certain houses on Halloween night, and say, "Trick or Children."
 
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