For many, including myself, Halloween is a fun autumn holiday filled with trick-or-treating, costumes, candies, carving pumpkins, and ghoulish theme parties. This tradition brought to America by Irish emigrants during the 19th century has become a widely popular holiday with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Given Halloween’s pagan history, I understand how it’s perceived as evil by some. However, Halloween is celebrated with two holy days observed for centuries in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries. All Saint’s Day (November 1) and All Soul’s Day (November 2) honor saints and dead loved ones. What’s evil about that?
Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve (Holy Night) origins date to a pre-Christian tradition called Samhain, a Celtic festival of the dead. Although celebrating the spirit world sounds wicked, Samhain is rather innocent. Its name means the end of summer and is observed October 31 at the end of every harvest and at the beginning of the spiritual New Year. This festivity is worldwide and is celebrated as late as November 8th in Germany.
Although Halloween’s origins stem from pagan rituals, when people worshiped Celtic deities around bonfires in costumes made from animal heads, the ceremony was harmless. Celts believed spirits of the dead returned to earth to wreak havoc and damage their crops. To appease Celtic Gods, they sacrificed animals and brought other offerings. As well as sacrifices, Druids (Celtic Priests) practiced divination (foretelling the future). They believed the presence of spirits on All Hallow’s Eve, made foretelling easier and would divine issues such as health, death, luck, and marriage.
The practice of divination, sacrificing animals, and horned costumes, indeed appear satanic. However, Samhain was merely a means of an ancient culture that knew no other way to alleviate fears and uncertainties of an uncertain time. Their rituals stemmed from survival and agricultural needs during a medieval age rampant with famine, pestilence, and diseases. Without modern medicine, agriculture, or science, superstitious beliefs and pagan worship were the tools of an unsophisticated people.
Church scriptures may perceive Samhain as worshipping false Gods. A practice that’s forbidden in the Holy Scriptures (Matthew 22:37-38) and any other satanic practices or spiritual intervention—Ouija Boards, Black magic, and dressing up as witches, demons, and devils. Some believe Halloween allows for bad behavior as people run amok with trick-or-treating pranks. Of course, there are those, regardless of Halloween, who will behave disturbingly given the means to do so. This is a societal issue, not a Halloween issue.
Yes, All Hallow’s Eve, like many, is a tradition rooted in ancient pagan history—a means of an unsophisticated people to make sense of their environment. Over time, this philistine practice has become global entertainment. Kids aren’t thinking about false gods or worshipping the devil, but seeking candy and fun. And of course, a small niche practicing occult sciences, find this spiritual time perfect to perform their magic—the practice of a few not specific to Halloween but year-round events. Frankly, Halloween is just a good-old fashion tradition that comes around once a year and is loved by both children and adult. Halloween is a wickedly silly night of laughs and good cheer.
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