Real Dangers To Halloween.
Once more Halloween rolls around on the 31 October this year. Every store you walk into you will see on display all the paraphernalia associated with this time of year. From Dracula masks to plastic ghosts its a time for the shops like in any big festival to make money. It's expected for kids to be excited and dress up as ghoulish characters to go 'trick a treating'. Halloween parties are held by adults up and down the country and it is easy to see why all this seems like fun.
Believe me, I do not wish to be a party pooper (I like to party like the next person given the chance) however there are real dangers to this festival. Before we go into that let us look briefly at the history of Halloween.
Halloween was not called Halloween as it is today in the ancient past it was a Celtic festival. A pagan festival if you will where the veil between this world and the spirit world became weak. At this point, the dead could cross over into our physical world and mingle with the living. This time of the year was known as 'Samhain' and was no doubt for the ancient Celts a time a time of merriment but also a lot of superstition. Later on, when Christianity was adopted 'Samhain' was Christianised to 'All Saints Day' obviously a time to remember Christian saints. Later still someone had the bright idea to shorten 'All Saints Days' or 'All Hallows Eve' to 'Halloween'. Despite being Christianised it seems the Pagan origins of Halloween have triumphed as we think of Halloween as a time for all things spooky.
Going back to the dangers of Halloween there are real people who happen to be Pagan and some being Satanists who honour this festival in this way. Animal sacrifices, child sacrifices and adult human sacrifices do really happen yes. Covens are a real and present danger and Satan himself is alive and well believe it or not.
I can hear you saying "No Nick you are deluded," you think? The best thing Satan wants is for society to believe he does not exist that's what makes him stronger. By having Halloween we are acknowledging and honouring dark forces whether we like to admit it or not.
Even some Christians have Halloween parties thinking "Wheres the harm"? But there is a harm what good can come from entertaining and respecting what is essentially a fest of evil?
The UK was a nation at one time which did not go the lengths it does today to celebrate 'Halloween'. But as the country has become Americanised (no disrespect to my American readers!) this festival has grown to the celebration it is today. I can see why people want to be scared and thrilled its part of our human nature. On many of the cable channels, you will find 'Ghost Adventures' or Most Haunted' supposedly real paranormal investigators chasing spooks left, right and centre. On kids tv, you will find programmes 'Nick Junior' encouraging little ones to take part.
Seriously and finally though as a Christian I think it wise not to take part in 'Halloween'. For the dangers outlined in my article is the reason for not celebrating it for me. You can mock me all you like dear reader, however, believe me from things I have seen I know there are real dangers at this time of the year in taking part in 'Halloween'. However, if you want to go ahead but don't say you haven't been warned!
As explained earlier in the article 'Halloween' was a Pagan Celtic festival. Essentially a Gaelic and Brythonic Celtic festival between 31 October - 1 November. The festival was celebrated (and still is by Pagans) halfway through the Autumn Equinox and Summer Solstice. In the Gaelic world is one of 4 fests known as Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh.
These were observed along with Samhain in Ireland, Scotland and on The Isle of Man.
In the Brythonic world, it was known as Calan Gaeaf in Wales, Calan Gwau in Cornwall and Calan Goanu in Britanny. Festival is observed today by Neo-Pagans and Wiccans.
As explained when many of these people became Christian the church superimposed its festivals on the ancient Pagan ones. Perhaps to make it easier for people to remember what dates the Christian festivals fell on keeping the old Pagan dates.
Of course, that's all well and good but that still make people remember the old Pagan fests. Evidently remembering 'Halloween' really 'Samhain' is evidence of this.
Perhaps from a Christian point of view, it is time for the church to reclaim 'Halloween' as its own and make it 'All Saints Days' once more.