As jack-o-lanterns, comedy gravestones, and zombies crop up on our neighbor’s lawns, and every kid in town shakes with excitement about their candy haul, ISKCON devotees may be wondering whether or not to take their own children out trick-or-treating. Some devotees have expressed concerns about celebrating non-Gaudiya Vaishnava holidays. Others are Krishna-izing Halloween in creative ways.
Rama Raya Das wraps up an intense Halloween evening kirtan and costumed passersby dance with devotees and later offer lamps to Damodara. Rama Raya then offers his concluding speech.
ISKCON deevotees in London have been going out to do public harinamas every day for decades. The biggest party has traditionally been the Saturday night harinamas. The procession starts in front of the Govinda's Restaurant, then goes around in the theater and party district and the famous Chinatown. On Halloween night, Saturday, October 31st, devotees gave the public something to really lift their spirits!
When I was growing up in the 1980s, every autumn Diwali waged a valiant but losing battle against Halloween. If my sister and I were caught in the crosshairs of the holiday war, our immigrant parents were its real casualties.
Halloween has come and gone, without incident. None of the neighborhood kids donned Lil' Ganesh costumes after all, and my daughter Shruti's first Halloween costume (an adorable pumpkin) was a hit.