Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?
Since I was brought up in a family that has never celebrated Halloween, I have always wondered why do we (as a culture) in the United States celebrate Halloween? What is the whole reason behind dressing up in silly costumes and going trick-or-treating? Should Christians celebrate Halloween? What exactly is it that we are celebrating and what is the reasoning or history behind it?
I'm sure some will agree with me and some won't, but just like many of the other holidays that have lost their meaning, I think Halloween too has been added as an over-rated "holiday" and celebrated for the wrong reasons. It may have to do with my religious upbringings, but I never quite understood all the commotion and chaos behind Halloween.
To me, Halloween has always been known as "the devil's holiday" - and I have never celebrated it in any way, shape, or form. No, I didn't trick-or-treat, which I can admit, as a child was a bummer sometimes. But after the commotion was done, I never really felt like I missed out on anything. The only thing I ever felt I missed out on was all the candy, and my mom always waited until the day after Halloween when all the candy went on sale and bought us tons of candy anyway! I mean, that's what Halloween is all about is the candy and the costumes, right?!
Now that I am older, and understand a little more, I have the desire to want to know - what is the real meaning behind this holiday? (I hate even calling it a holiday) I don't get it - just like I'm sure those that celebrate it don't get why I don't celebrate it.
How Do You Celebrate Halloween?
The History of Halloween
- Halloween History
History of Halloween. From Halloween's origins to the present celebration of Halloween.
- The History of Halloween - The History Channel
Learn about the history of Halloween including information on jack o lanterns, Halloween vampires and superstitions from Halloween night all on History.com.
The History of Halloween
Halloween is a festival that takes place in the U.S. on October 31st. Halloween developed from ancient new year festivals and festivals of the dead. In the 800's A.C., the church established All Saints' Day on November 1st so that people could continue to celebrate a festival they had before becoming Christians. The Mass that was said on All Saints' Day was called Allhallowmas, which is how the evening before All Saints' Day became known as All Hallow e'en, or Halloween.
The Celtic festival of Samhain is believed to be the source of present-day Halloween celebration. The Celts lived well over 2,000 years ago and their new year began on November 1st. They usually celebrated a festival the previous evening which honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. It marked the beginning of a new season of cold, darkness, and death.
On the evening of the festival, the Druids, who were the priests and teachers of the Celts, created bonfires and burned animals, crops, and possibly even humans as sacrifices. During this celebration, people sometimes wore costumes mad of animal heads and skins and sometimes told fortunes about the coming year by examining the remnants of the animals that had been sacrificed.
Then in about 43 A.C., the Romans conquered the Celts and combined two of their autumn festivals with the Celts festival of Samhain. One of the festivals, Feralia, was held in late October to honor the dead.
Even after the Celts became Christians, many of their festivals survived. Around this time the church established All Saints' Day on November 1st and made the old pagan customs part of this Christian holy day.
Halloween in the United States
Many early American settlers came from England or other Celtic regions and they brought many of their various customs with them. However, because of the strict religious beliefs of many of the other settlers, Halloween celebrations did not become popular until later in the 1800's when a lot of immigrants arrived from Scotland and Ireland.
During the mid 1900s, Halloween pranks, which were at one time harmless, became rowdy and destructive. To make it safer, towns and cities began bribing kids with treats to help keep them out of trouble. This is how "trick-or-treat" was born and adopted along with other popular Halloween customs such as wearing costumes, carving pumpkins into Jack O' Lanterns, fortune telling, and bobbing for apples. Ghosts and witches remained symbols of Halloween because people once believed that ghosts roamed the earth and witches gathered on October 31st to celebrate the devil.
Bible Answers from Amazing Facts
- Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? Inside Report
Most people see nothing wrong with the activities of Halloween. They consider Halloween festivities to be a harmless way for their children to have an evening of "fantasy and fun."
- How do you explain to kids why they shouldn't take part in Halloween?
"I mean, how do you explain to your kids with their faces pressed up against the window watching the neighborhood kids trick or treating and getting candy from their parents – how do you explain to them why they’re not able to participate in a positi
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MPI is devoted to returning America to the principles espoused by our founding fathers contained in the Declaration of Independence; a Christian nation with a small republican government governed by frugal citizen politicians.
Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?
The decision (for a Christian) of whether or not to celebrate Halloween definitely seems to have become more of a personal decision than a biblically based one (in my opinion).
I'm far from perfect. But I could never really understand how or why someone who calls themselves a Christian celebrates Halloween! It's not my place to judge - that's God's job, and he will do that on Judgement Day. Yet, I find it odd that so many Christians actually celebrate this day as a holiday.
The worst part is when I've asked several why they celebrate Halloween, the reply is usually something along the lines of - "What's the big deal? The kids are just having fun, dressing up in costumes and getting candy. Plus, I did it, and there's nothing wrong with me."
I guess those parents don't realize that they're not setting a good example for their children? They are allowing them to think it's ok to do what everyone else does. And wost of all, do they not understand the symbolism behind this holiday?
I would have to guess that's what it is. Most people are just ignorant to what Halloween really represents or stands for because it has been so twisted and distorted into a celebration. While the celebration of Hallows Eve has been around in history for years, it doesn't make it right.