Halloween is Actually a Saints' Holiday
Halloween is one of the most festive holidays for kids, as well as adults. The kids love to dress in colorful costumes and go door-to-door in search of treats, with the favorite phrase from the lips of children when the front door is opened being, "Trick-or-Treat!"
Adults like to dress in costumes and attend Halloween parties and dances, as well as escorting their kids as they venture into the unknown in search of their sweet bounty.
Many people believe that Halloween is a time for evil to manifest itself and tempt children into its dark lair through its association with everything evil, but it was originally a Saints' Holiday.
Festival of Samhain
Halloween began as an ancient Celtic celebration in Britain about 2,000 years ago and was called the Festival of Samhain.
This festival always occurred in the autumn after crops were gathered, and at a time when people believed the fortification between the good world and the world of evil became very thin. They were afraid if they did not react, evil, in the forms of ghosts, demons, witches, and other creatures would breakthrough. They believed that if they had a huge party, and dressed up as those evil beings, the beings would think they were one of them and leave them alone. Another practice during this time was the giving of treats to the spirits as an offering so the people would not be harmed.
When the Christian Religion developed, "All Hallows' Eve" (Halloween) was dedicated by Pope Gregory III and was set on October 31, with All Saints' Day falling on November 1.
Prayer and Food For the Dead
In medieval Britain, mendicants (beggars) went from door to door seaking food for the exchange of prayer for the dead. They carried the predecessor of the Jack-O-Lantern; a hollowed-out turnip, with a lit candle inside to keep spirits in purgatory from escaping and harming them. The turnips were replaced by pumpkins later in the 1800s in America because there were so many of them, and the time of their maturity usually coincided with the date of Halloween.
Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, and Zombies
Before the existence of Halloween, people believed in ghosts, vampire type creatures, werewolves, witches, and zombies. The King James Version of the Holy Bible defines some of them. Here are some verses.
2 Corinthians 6:17 - Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
1 Timothy 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
James 2:19 - Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Mark 1:24 - Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Another warning in the Bible, tells everyone to be vigilant against evil.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 King James Version (KJV)
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Halloween Parties and Costumes
Halloween celebrations and festivals in colonial America were very rare due to the static and rigid standards of the Protestants and their religious beliefs.
Later, the American version of Halloween became more of a get-together to have parties, which sometimes included the Indians. These celebrations were a time for the people to celebrate the harvest of their crops and give thanks to God for his power in giving them abundant food and clothing to make it through the winter months. They also began telling scary stories, which had been passed down through the generations, and some even began wearing costumes to make the story-telling more dramatic.
When all is said and done, Halloween is not evil in itself but is only a celebration. Evil is manifested by the people and the way they celebrate it. When I was a child, my thoughts of Halloween was to dress up, get candy, have fun, but not harm anyone or anything. I think that all parents should influence and guide their children to use this time of the year in the way it should be used as "All Hallows Eve," the preamble of "All Saints' Day." God Bless and Happy Halloween!
Other Aspects of Halloween
During this time period, and beyond young women believed they could use divine interventions to tell them the name and physical features of their future husbands. This was done when they used yarn, mirrors, and apple parings to do tricks. Sometimes this caused them to be associated with "witchcraft."
History - https://www.history.com/topics/halloween
Halloween History - https://www.infoplease.com/halloween-history
King James Version of the Holy Bible - https://www.biblestudytools.com/kjv/
The Catholic Origins of Halloween - https://www.ucatholic.com/blog/the-catholic-origins-of-halloween/
© 2019 Gerry Glenn Jones