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Public activists urge ban on Halloween celebrations in Russia as advocating ‘Satanic cult’

October 31, 2016, 19:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Halloween celebrations in Russia have been a controversial issue for several years

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© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. The Russian General Prosecutor’s Office has received an appeal from public activists to ban public celebrations of Halloween in Russia as those advocating 'Satanic cult'.

"The General Prosecutor’s Office has received such an appeal. It will be considered before the deadline specified by law," its press service told Tass. Media reported about an appeal from public activists on October 29, but at that time it was not yet sent to the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Appeals from citizens are considered within 30 days after they are registered, and those that don’t need additional checks - within 15 days.

Halloween celebrations in Russia have been a controversial issue for several years. In 2005, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church warned that a child dressing as a werewolf, voodoo or a witch overcomes natural disgust characteristic of children. Children trustingly take devilish masks from the hands of adults, he said, while adults are often interested only in the commercial component of celebrations.

In 2014, an officer from the Public Chamber suggested recommending entertainment establishments to refrain from celebrations of Halloween.

The issue was also brought up last year. The Ministry of Education and Science sent a request to Russian regions to find out whether Halloween was celebrated at schools. Judging by the answers, no celebrations are held on a mass scale.

The only exception is schools with advanced English learning, where Halloween traditions are studied among other traditions of foreign states. Some regions, however, advised local schools against celebrating Halloween (Crimea, the Arkhangelsk, Saratov and Orenburg regions, the Krasnoyarsk region and Moscow).

Halloween has its origin in Pagan Celtic traditions. It is marked overnight to November 1. Jack-O-Lanterns, the name for the carved pumpkin, are supposed to scare evil spirits away from the house. People at Halloween parties are dressed as witches, magicians, vampires, werewolves, ghosts or deceased.

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