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Should We Celebrate Halloween?

Updated on October 31, 2016

Why I'm making this page called: "Should we celebrate Halloween ?"

I'm making this page called "Should we celebrate Halloween?" because, like it or not the holiday we call Halloween seems to be here to stay. The only question is "Should we celebrate Halloween or not?" and there seems to be a lot of confusion on the subject today, both in Christian and non-Christian circles. I'll tell you right from the start, I don't plan to clarify the issue, but rather share some varying views on the subject of Halloween celebration and to give you a chance to voice your opinion as to whether or not we should celebrate Halloween. Thus, I'm trusting that you will get involved and share in the duel and poll sections. I'll tell you what I think, but don't let that stop you from sharing your opinion. I could be wrong. In fact I'm not entirely certain in my own mind. Thus, PLEASE DO VOTE AND SHARE YOUR OPINION and let's get this duel going! I meant this to be a duel hub, so don't just read and move on--get into the action!!!

In the meantime, check out the origins of Halloween.

Thanks.

James M. Becher

Awaiting Samhain
Awaiting Samhain | Source

The origins of Halloween celebration

In order to decide whether or not we should celebrate Halloween, it would be helpful to understand something of the origin of the holiday.

As fellow hubber squid-janices7 pointed out in her previously published hub on Halloween history, The celebration which eventually became Halloween "marked the transition from summer to winter, ... also regarded as the Celtic New Year (Nov.1) [. T]he eve of it was called Samhain, [which] eventually evolved into our Halloween. It was also something of a festival of the dead, as Celts believed that spirits roamed the earth on that night." She further explains how the name "Halloween" eventually evolved from the Christianization in the 800's, of the pagan holiday into "All saint's eve" ("All Hallow's eve"). For more on this last check out the first link below:


More on the origin and history of Halloween celebration:

If America is a melting pot, then Halloween is the stew that simmers in our national cauldron. There is a fascinating by Nicholas Rogers, in which he shows how the holiday is a hodgepodge of ancient European pagan traditions, 19th-century Irish and Scottish celebrations, Western Christian interpretations of All Souls' Day and thoroughly modern American consumer ideals. At its heart, says Rogers, Halloween is a celebration of the inversion of social codes-children have power over adults, marauders can make demands of established homeowners and anyone may assume a temporary disguise. This may be related to the Mexican "Day of the dead" at which "death" (personified) is seen to be the great leveler, taking rich and poor alike.

Prayers for the dead on All Hallows' Eve:

On All Hallows' Eve, Christians in some parts of the world visit graveyards to pray and place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones.
On All Hallows' Eve, Christians in some parts of the world visit graveyards to pray and place flowers and candles on the graves of their loved ones. | Source

Christian influence on Halloween: (Info. gleaned from Wikipedia)

"All Hallows' Eve" became an obligatory holy day by the end of the 12th century. Criers dressed in black would "parade the streets, ringing a bell of mournful sound and calling on all good Christians to remember the poor souls.

The custom of 'Souling' or of baking and sharing soul cakes for all christened souls, dates back at least as far as the 15th centuryand was found in parts of England, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Italy. Groups of poor people, often children, would go door-to-door during Allhallowtide, collecting soul cakes, in exchange for praying for the dead, especially the souls of the givers' friends and relatives. Our modern custom of " Trick-or Treat" may have originated from this custom.

Halloween a Christian holiday-??

Here is a unique twist on the history of Halloween: The little but powerful pamphlet below gives puts a unique spin on the matter. The author strongly suggests that, rather than the Chrisianization of a pagan Holiday, Halloween actually started as a Christian festival and was later confused with a festival of the dead. Thus, he claims that Christians should re-claim the holiday as a sort of Christian Memorial Day . This is one point in favor of celebrating Halloween. Compare it with the predominate view in the discussion tape listed below.

Christian Origins of Halloween pamphlet
Christian Origins of Halloween pamphlet

The author of this little but powerful pamphlet strongly suggests that, rather than the Chrisianization of a pagan Holiday, Halloween actually started as a Christian festival, and thus, Christians should re-claim it.

 

So should we celebrate Halloween?

various views

This is a sticky question in our day and time and there are various views espoused on the subject from both Christian and non-Christian quarters, the above listed booklet being a prime example. Looking at it from a normal Christian perspective, or perhaps I should better say from a faith based perspective, when we consider the pagan influences in the origin of Halloween, we may very well tend to say no, that we would want to have nothing to do with it. Yet, on the other hand, if we consider the Christian influences in it's origin as noted in the above booklet, and the fact that Halloween has evolved into a seemingly innocent and harmless night of fun for the kids. You may want to check out the discussion in the audio tape listed below and the below listed website, as well as searching Amazon or other sites for other resources before voting and giving your opinion in the poll and duel modules to follow. But please do vote and leave your comments. That's why I made this hub.

Differing Christian views of Halloween celebration:

I tried to keep this section non-sectarian as well as the previous, but I just couldn't find any Muslim or Jewish books written on Halloween. So I originally listed below two books giving differing viewpoints from a Christian perspective, but in order to meet HP quality standards, I since eliminated both in favor of an audio tape discussion and a website. There is no one definitive Christian view on the subject. It seems there are just as many Christians for celebrating Halloween as ther are against it, and just as many reasons on booth sides as well. If undecided, check out the hubs and website listed below for reasons on both sides of the issue, and/or search the web for more reasons for or against.. Then decide for yourself and vote in my poll below.

Hubs by other hubmasters on the subject:

Before you make up your mind about Halloween celebration, yes or no, you may want to check out what other Hubmasters have to say on the subject:

A Panel Discussion:

You could try forming a discussion group at your church or other organization. But if you try searching the web, as I suggested previously one of the items you may find is an audio tape of a Panel Discussion called "A Christian Perspective on Halloween." [From Amazon:] "Tom Dooley hosts a panel of knowledgeable guests who provide a creative, practical and Biblical discussion on this controversial issue." It includes "A fresh, in depth look at the origins of Halloween, its pernicious purpose among occult groups, and strong encouragement for churches and families to discover creative, Christian alternatives to this pagan holiday."

So, what about alternatives?:

You don't have to follow the traditional ways of celebrating, There are many alternatives you could employ, which would be safe and fun for kids, while still honoring God. Try using your imagination, and you're sure to come up with at least a few, but if you're stuck, check the web for suggestions, But,this raises another question: Is employing alternatives really celebrating?

The Pumpkin Prayer Pumpkin
The Pumpkin Prayer Pumpkin

And, Check this out too!

Have you seen the Pumpkin Prayer?

A friend emailed me this and just had to include it on this hub:

"Dear God, As I carve my Pumpkin (cut out top of pumpkin) Take my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do (clean out inside). Open my eyes so Your love I will see (cut eyes like hearts). I'm sorry for turning up my nose to all You've given me (cut nose like a cross). Open my ears to Your word I will hear (Bible ears). Open my mouth so I can tell others You are near (fish shaped mouth). Let Your light shine in all I say and do! Amen! (Place light or candle inside)"

HOW'S THAT FOR CHRISTIANIZATION?

Check your understanding: Take my little 5 question quiz:


view quiz statistics

Now it's Your Turn: Cast your vote for or against Halloween celebration. Then Give your reason under "Yes" or "No" below:- SHOULD we celebrate Halloween?

A Scary Question
A Scary Question

Exit Poll #1:

So should we celebrate Holloween? (However you define "celebrate," should we do somethig, or should we simply ignore the holiday?)

See results

Exit Poll #2 - Alternatives:

Do you consider the employment of alternatives as a type of celebrating?

See results

Your Turn to Sound Off! Give a Reason for Your Answer! - Tell Why You Think We Should or Should Not Celebrate Halloween..

However you defined "celebrate," (whether or not you think using alternatives involves celebrating), should we celebrate Halloween? Why? OR Why not?

Yes

Yes

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    • emailcash 3 years ago

      It's just for fun.

    • Rhidawn 4 years ago

      I don't see a problem with it. Halloween has nothing to do with the devil. It's just a fun time for the kids. Dressing up as something out of fairy tales and getting candy. It's enjoyment for everyone

    • Ardyn25 4 years ago

      Yes. As to it being the devils night I would have to highly disagree. Sadly, to many have wrongly interpreted what the pagan holiday was about. Pagans have never worshiped Satan in any form. And why focus on something long past? That almost seems to me something Satan would just love Christians to do.

      In this day and age Halloween is about community, sharing and being neighborly. All of which are strong Christian values. It's a time when we open our hearts and homes to others in a spirit of giving. I have met families I might not of in my community by opening up my door and sharing a treat on Halloween. What other time of year do we share with strangers right on our own doorstep? If anything Halloween is a time of fellowship with our neighbors.

      Halloween is also a time that children get to be whoever they want to be, with joy, fun and silliness. And its a time for parents to escape from the constraints of a stressful world and be like children again themselves. Its not about standing in a fight against good and evil, its about generosity, kindness and giving.

      The origins of the holiday really don't matter, its what it has evolved into. And if the devil is expecting worship he has to be very disappointed in the generosity, fun, kindness and giving that have evolved around the day instead. Besides, when Jesus said, It is finished, I believe he meant it. The truth to me is that Christians have nothing to fear on this day or any other. God is God and his promises are always kept. So yes, I personally have no problem celebrating Halloween, but I do respect those who make the choice not to.

    • MirceaFlorea 4 years ago

      I love Halloween even though in my country hasn't been celebrated until recently. I think it's just about having fun, it doesn't really matter what the tradition are, or how money you spend. You can just spend your halloween night with a simple carved pumpkin and a couple of friends and watch a scary movie.

      It's fun, it brings people together and I'm for it

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      I love orange! Just being facetious...

      Why not! It doesn't really hurt anyone and the kids have fun - kids of all ages!

    • boutiqueshops 4 years ago

      Halloween isn't a religious holiday, but merely a remembrance of what beliefs were long ago and in different PLACES--not only the Catholic Church but Celtic and others. Easter and Christmas have similar histories outside of the Bible. Not only does Halloween acknowledge older Pagan beliefs, but was also for celebrating the harvest. There are lots of ideas wrapped up in the things we celebrate today. That doesn't mean we WORSHIP the devil for heaven's sake. It only means we remember our collective histories.

    • Terrie_Schultz 4 years ago

      Halloween is not a religious holiday, it's just for fun. When I was a kid, I loved dressing up in costumes and running around the neighborhood at night getting candy, and so did my kids when they were young.

    • Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      If you stop celebrating Halloween due to its pagan origins (which are mainly myth and not reality) then you have to also seriously consider Easter, the pagan links to Easter are MUCH stronger the day itself is named after a pagan goddess, then there is Christmas which is also primarily based on pagan rites.

      Calling Halloween The Devil's Holiday is actually a modern thing, not an older name. I really don't see why religion has anything to do with Halloween at this point in our history.

      As for Irenemaria's comments, Halloween is no more built on a lie than any other holiday in the Christian Calendar, almost all were adapted to existing pagan beliefs and traditions.

      The most important thing to remember is Pagan does not mean "worships the devil", but simply means "does not worship Christ".

    • cocomoonbeams 5 years ago

      Yes, it is a fun holiday. Many, many of our holidays, foods, songs etc are rooted in pagan traditions. Why single out Halloween.... what about many Christmas traditions... wreaths, lighting candles etc. Look into the origins of calendars, temples, chanting, the wedding ring, saying Amen etc etc. At one time the majority of people living were Pagans, so it is only natural that so many of our modern traditions are rooted in their faith.

    • katemiya 5 years ago

      Based on this argument, Christians should stop celebrating 99.5% of everything associated with Christmas, since virtually all of the customs were adapted directly from Pagan rituals.

    • Jack2205 6 years ago

      I believe that the evil part of Halloween should not be celebrated, but it's okay to let children dress up and get candy.

    • ideadesigns 7 years ago

      I can see a person taking what was meant for evil and making something good out of it. Lots of churches celebrate christian fellowship, some make drama plays and some just let the kids pretend to be their heroes. If your careful you can help your child dream big with what characters they dress as... I took a break from halloween this year, just to get my thoughts together about it... thanks Jim for this great lens.

    • James M Becher 7 years ago from South Florida

      I'll start this off by saying that I tend to think that we (and when I say we, I mean primarily we Christians) should not celebrate Halloween becuause of its pagan origins and associations. I used to call it the Devil's holiday. But in re-thinking it, I wonder what is the harm in kids dressing up as their favorite Disney characters or something like that. As long as we leave the withces and ghosts out of it, might it be o.k.? Please elnighten me on this. Please do add you opinion. Thank.

    No

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      • Angele Parris 15 months ago

        I have no problem with it. Some costumes are a little scary, but it makes the stores look lovely at that time of the year, and gives me a safe reason to visit my neighbors.

        In neighborhood, some of the houses are decorated, and the neighbors actually prepare colorful bags of candies for children

      • Fullcrum8 3 years ago

        I say No purely because the meaning has been lost.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        BTW...I chose "No" just because until i'm sure I personally won't celebrate it. But you should have an "undecided" choice! haha

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        It is definitely a tricky question. I grew up NOT celebrating it because of it's origins...my parents were convinced it was desperately wicked. I secretly always wanted to though, because I loved dressing up and eating candy! LOL! Seriously though, when you think about it most people today are not celebrating it's origins, it is just a day to get a funny scare, dress up, etc. And if we are NOT celebrating it's origins, what is wrong with it? The Bible states we should not be concerned with celebrating certain days or becoming legalistic. Hey, it even says it was fine to eat food offered to idols! Why? Because as Christians we know that food is food. There is only one true God, so if food were offered to wood (or whatever the idol was made of) it wouldn't matter. In the same way, dressing up is dressing up. Eating candy is eating candy. Is it really important what day we do this on? Perhaps it is more of a heart issue? I think it is also important to be very sensitive. If another Christian thinks it is wicked to celebrate we should accept that, as we don't want someone to violate his/her conscience. Like I said, it is a very tricky subject, and honestly I'm still not sure exactly where I stand on it! Hence why I read articles like this I suppose... :P

        PS Why do I have to take this poll? You should have a "undecided" answer! Hahaha jk :)

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I say no because of what it represents a pegan religion so us as Christian should not participate with it at all no metters how we put it were not of this world anymore just like we don't celebrate Easter and Christmas and even velentines we have to set our self away from this world and I thank God that out kids understand we thought them since they were growing that were in the world but not of this world so its eather be with God 100% or not at all we can't be in the middle like a look worm Christian I rather be in the save side and take that chance of believe and be in the bad side u know what I mean I'm not taking chances it is what it is its eather God or Satan .

      • selah74 4 years ago

        As a youth, there was never enough holidays. As an adult, I find there are just way too many to keep up with--and more money to spend just to keep up with meaningless traditions. I'd rather start my own with my own family, that do it just to keep up with the jones. Halloween is perhaps my least favorite. I'm not into spooks or too many sweets.

      • Mary 4 years ago from Midwest

        I am only speaking for myself and if i had anything to say i would not celebrate Holloween. Growing up my parents took us out trick or treating but never told us why it was a holiday. I am not even sure my mother knew the back ground herself.

        I did take my daughter because that was how i grew up. She took her kids too. I'm going to ask them if they know this history.

        I did click on your sites so i could find out for sure why. I just never thought there was a reason to go out on Holloween night just to get all that candy. It was never spoken about but that is just how i feel.

        Grand kids are grown now so there is not going to be any celebration any more.

        I want to see what every one else has to say. Nice lens gives you something to think about.

      • irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

        Absolutely NO! Everything about halloween is built on lies and pagan tradition

      • kab 7 years ago from Upstate, NY

        Darn near everything has pagan origins. That's no excuse.

      Finally, a bit of Halloween humor: A scary thought:

      Halloween scary thought
      Halloween scary thought | Source

      Any Additional Comments? (This is NOT the place to express your views on Halloween. Do that in the YES or NO comment capsules above.)

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        • Fullcrum8 profile image

          Fullcrum8 3 years ago

          I like what you have done with this lens and I concur with sicntwstdf

        • takkhisa profile image

          Takkhis 3 years ago

          It is a well written lens and personally this lens helps me to know more about Halloween :)

        • emailcash profile image

          emailcash 3 years ago

          Enjoyed your lens and learned a couple of things about Halloween.

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          s82a84 3 years ago

          Interesting, Good lens!

        • Lady Lorelei profile image

          Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

          I love all the holidays including Halloween so Yes Yes Yes. Get out there and play at Halloween.

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          sicntwstdf 4 years ago

          I wish that more people could realize that, all of our equinox's and many of our holidays such as Groundhog's day, Easter, Halloween, & Christmas, all originated from Pagan Tradition. The fact that Christian religion adapted these traditions into their form of worship, then preach and look down on Pagan Tradition...aggravates me.

        • robertzimmerman2 profile image

          Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

          Thought provoking lens!

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          LegoLegoLego 5 years ago

          Why Not Its A tradition here in Ireland

        • PastorKay profile image

          Pastor Kay 5 years ago

          I'm not opposed to Halloween. Whatever it was at one point, it's not that anymore. Put your superhero costumes on, kids, we're hitting the streets!

        • Jen Maskill profile image

          Jen Maskill 5 years ago

          Good lens with some really good balanced views. Thanks Well done!

        • katemiya profile image

          katemiya 5 years ago

          Interesting topic. I would love to see the Pagan traditions and rituals used in modern-day Christmas celebrations addressed the same way since many Christians are unaware of those.

        • TreasuresBrenda profile image

          Treasures By Brenda 5 years ago from Canada

          I am happy to embrace an occasion that is so much fun for children and adults.

        • quickcutterss profile image

          Mary 5 years ago from Midwest

          I still say no. If you don't start out with your kids then they will never know what they are missing. Yes they will hear things at school but you have to explain things to them in a proper way.

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          alyssa87 6 years ago

          well written and you have done maximum research on the topic, good job

        • mariaamoroso profile image

          irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

          Your comment "what's the harm" has an answer: God has watched the beginning of pagan celebrations and traditions. There is the harm. You offend Him!

        • SmBizGuru LM profile image

          SmBizGuru LM 6 years ago

          This has been a hot topic in our home ever since my oldest was born 17 years ago. This is a well researched lens. Thank you.

        • WhitU4ever profile image

          WhitU4ever 6 years ago

          Great lens with a very relevant topic! I love your examples for resources on the topic. Every Christian wonders whether or not it is right to celebrate Halloween. If I felt I had more of a choice, I would pass. Yet, I have reservations about quitting altogether, because it has been an opportunity to get to know some of our neighbors and remember their costumes, and make conversation later on. But that doesn't always happen, and I would just as soon be eager to either celebrate in my own way or make it a family movie and popcorn night in the dark while we watch movies, eat popcorn, and pray for everyone who rings the doorbell!, as well as the safety of all who are trick-or-treating that night.

        • stephenteacher profile image

          Stephen Carr 7 years ago from Corona, CA

          I hear you! Howeverm I think as Christians, we must put things in perspective. When I was a kid, Halloween was an enjoyable thing. The thought of demons, dead, ghosts, etc. as being real never even came into the mix. Now, it seems as if we have actually turned a mundane day into something bigger than life by focusing on these things. We cannot have it both ways. The Bible is full of supernatural things. We even support CS Lewis and his brand of fantasy. Fantasy has its place, in a proper perspective, for sure!

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          ideadesigns 7 years ago

          I made a "safe" fun pumpkin carving site. I like this lens. 5 stars.

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