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Should We Celebrate Halloween?

Updated on October 31, 2017

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 to hold an in-depth discussion on the subject. In lieu of that, you can listen to the audio tape, listed below of a Panel Discussion called "A Christian Perspective on Halloween." [As Amazon says:] "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?

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 4 years ago

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

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

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

    • emailcash profile image

      emailcash 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      s82a84 4 years ago

      Interesting, Good lens!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

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

    • profile image

      sicntwstdf 5 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 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      Thought provoking lens!

    • profile image

      LegoLegoLego 6 years ago

      Why Not Its A tradition here in Ireland

    • PastorKay profile image

      Pastor Kay 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • katemiya profile image

      katemiya 6 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 6 years ago from Canada

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

    • quickcutterss profile image

      Mary 6 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.

    • profile image

      alyssa87 6 years ago

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

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 7 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 7 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 7 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 8 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!

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 8 years ago

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