Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween: One Christian's Opinion

     It's that time of the year again. A time for children of all ages to dress up and either go trick or treating or to a party or maybe both.

     For those of you who may not know, I am a Christian. That word brings with it many positive and negative connotations. For me, personally, it means that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, was born a man and led a life that was to be an example to all of us as to how we are to lead our lives. I also believe that he died willingly, not because the Jews or Romans were responsible. He died in order that our sins which kept us from having a relationship with God would die with him. I further believe that he rose from the dead, sinless, just as we will someday when we are born into the kingdom of heaven.

     Don't leave me yet. There is a reason for all this "religious" stuff, and I promise to get to the point. I have found the growing trend that Christians will not use the term Halloween, nor will they let their children partake in the traditions of the holiday. Instead they have a Fall Festival, where their kids still dress up and still get candy, it's just not Halloween. "Huh?" I'm I missing something?

     From my time in many Christian churches, I have found that Christians have come to believe that Halloween is Satan's day. A day that is high on the Wiccan calendar. A day when human sacrifice occurs. This made me do a little research into the roots of Halloween. I don't want to bore you with all the facts, but I do think a few are necessary. Halloween's origins date back over 2000 years ago to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was held on October 31, the day before the New Year, November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and ushered in the cold dark winter, a time known for its many deaths
     The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year the boundaries between life and death were blurred and that the ghosts of the dead came back to life. To ward off the ghosts, the Druids or Celts would wear costumes of animal heads and skins and light bonfires. Let's jump ahead...Pope Gregory III (731-741) moved the observance of all Saints and Martyrs from May 31 to November 1 to coincide with the Celtic festival whom many were now Catholic. All Saints Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with bonfires, parades and dressing up in costume, especially, saints, angels, and devils. All Saints Day was also know as All Hallomas (from Middle English alhalomesse, meaning All Saint's Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain, began to be called All Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween.

     Moving ahead to the second half of the Nineteenth Century when there was a great European immigration into the United States, the Irish and English traditions came with the people. Americans began dressing up in costumes and going door to door asking for food or money. This tradition eventually became "trick or treat".

     So, getting back to the subject of this post. In my research of the true holiday, I did not find Satanism, nor any holiday in the Wiccan religious calender. I am not saying that I may not have missed something, but the point is, today Halloween is just a day when children of all ages can play dress up and pretend to be something or someone they are not and have a little fun for a few hours. Don't we all need a little escapism?

     If we as Christians want Christmas called "Christmas" and not a "Winter Holiday" then don't we have to bestow the same attitude on those holidays that we may or may not agree with?

     Christ told us to treat everyone as He has treated us. Just a thought.

     Happy Halloween,


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