The education ministry of Republika Srpska instructed schools and kindergartens in the entity not to organize Halloween parties or other forms of celebrating the holiday traditionally observed in English-speaking countries.
According to Banja Luka-based ATV, the ministry said that Halloween is not an official holiday in the entity, nor it is based in the Serb tradition. The ministry was petitioned by several conservative organizations to ban Halloween in schools. The organizations, which describe themselves as traditional, religious and family-oriented, said that Halloween is a celebration of a pagan death cult that encourages children to embrace satanism and evil.
Halloween is a observed on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day and Reformation Day. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films.