Halloween is a time when individuals let go of negative and lesser energies that are holding them back and celebrate the new energy that will soon replace them. It's crucial because during this time of year, people attend Halloween parties where alcohol is served, watch scary movies, or visit a haunted home or another location where fear energies are generated.
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Take some time to purify your energies with light and a feeling of love if you wish to experience the spiritual repercussions of Halloween. To keep their energy clear and safe, some people take a salt bath or practice cleansing meditation. When the trees shed and let go of their old leaves, nature mirrors this act for us.
What is the deep meaning of Halloween?
“Halloween” is derived from All Hallows' Eve and meaning “holy evening.” People dressed up as saints and went door-to-door hundreds of years ago, giving rise to Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating.
Does Halloween have a religious significance?
The origins of Halloween are assumed to be Christian beliefs and rituals. “All Hallows' Eve” is the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows' Day (All Saints' Day) on November 1 and All Souls' Day on November 2. Major Christian feasts (such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost), as well as the feast of All Hallows', have had vigils that began the night before since the early Church. These three days are known as Allhallowtide, and they are a time for commemorating saints and praying for recently deceased souls who have not yet reached Heaven. Several churches performed commemorations of all saints and martyrs on various days, mostly in the springtime. It was celebrated on May 13th in 4th-century Roman Edessa, and Pope Boniface IV re-dedicated the Pantheon in Rome to “St Mary and all martyrs” on May 13th, 609. This was the date of the ancient Roman festival of Lemuria, which commemorated the deceased.
The feast of All Hallows' began in the fourth century in the Western Christian Church, and in the eighth century, Pope Gregory III (731741) established an oratory in St Peter's for the remains “of the holy apostles and of all saints, martyrs, and confessors.” It was consecrated on November 1st, according to some sources, while others claim it was on Palm Sunday. There is evidence that churches in Ireland and Northumbria were celebrating all saints on November 1st by the year 800. A member of Charlemagne's court, Alcuin of Northumbria, may have established the 1 November date in the Frankish Empire. It was designated the official date of the Frankish Empire in 835. Some attribute this to Celtic influence, while others claim it was a Germanic concept, despite the fact that both Germanic and Celtic-speaking peoples remembered the deceased at the start of the winter season. They may have thought it was the most appropriate moment to do so because it is a period when nature is ‘dying.' It's also possible that the move was made on the “practical grounds that Rome in summer could not accommodate the large number of pilgrims who came to it,” as well as public health concerns about Roman Fever, which claimed a number of lives during Rome's sweltering summers.
What does the Bible say about Halloween?
“Keep a level head and keep an eye on everything. The devil, your adversary, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat.” “Stay away from all forms of wickedness.” “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who name darkness light and darkness light, who call bitter sweet and sweet bitter!”
Is Halloween a spiritual holiday?
Every year on October 31, millions of people throughout the world celebrate Halloween. It's a wonderful celebration with costumes, candy, and parties, but many people are curious about how it came to be. When it comes to faith, the subject of whether Halloween is secular, Christian, or Pagan comes up frequently.
The simplest response is that Halloween is a “secular” holiday. People who observe this day in a religious context do not usually refer to it as Halloween. In addition, traditional Halloween activities such as dressing and giving out candy are secular celebrations. The origins of Jack-o-lanterns can be traced back to folklore.
Is Halloween Pagan?
Halloween may be a secular celebration today, with sweets, costumes, and trick-or-treating, but it is based on a Celtic pagan feast called Samhain (pronounced “SAH-wane”), which was stolen by the early Catholic Church 1,200 years ago.
What religions do not celebrate Halloween?
Halloween isn't celebrated by all religions, and here's why.
- Some Orthodox Jews. Some Orthodox Jews refuse to recognize or celebrate holidays associated with “Gentiles.”
Why Christians shouldn't celebrate Halloween?
Every year on October 31st, people all around the United States celebrate Halloween, also known as All Hallow's Eve. Halloween has grown to become the second-largest commercially recognized holiday in America, garnering over $8 billion in sales. It is mostly aimed toward young children who enjoy dressing up, trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins.
What is the Origin & History of Halloween?
The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain (pronounced saw-en, and meaning'summer's end'). The day represented the conclusion of the harvest and the beginning of winter for the Celts who celebrated their new year on November 1st, the end of light and the beginning of darkness, the end of life and the beginning of death. Druids, or Celtic priests, built great bonfires on hilltops around which the people congregated and gave sacrifices of vegetables and animals to the Celtic gods as a thanksgiving offering for the previous year's harvest and an appeal for favor in the coming year. Some have speculated that human sacrifices took place at these bonfires, however this is not the case, according to modern experts. This was a very spiritual period, and divination, particularly in the form of fortune-telling, was widely practiced. It was popularly assumed that on this night, especially young women, may learn whether or not they would marry in the coming year, as well as the identity of their future spouse.
On the eve of Samhain, it is also thought that the veil between the living and the dead thins, allowing spirits from the Otherworld to walk the earth, both ghosts of departed loved ones from the previous year and malignant spirits like ghouls and fairies looking to do mischief and destruction. The Celts would prepare a feast and arrange a place at the table for their departed loved ones, hoping for a visit from them. They often leave food for the wandering spirits outside their home. The Celts were famed for placing carved pumpkins (or turnips) in front of their homes to fend off evil spirits. If they went out at night, they dressed up in costumes so that if they encountered an evil spirit, they would be mistaken for one and therefore be protected from harm.
The Origin of All Saints Day
By A.D. 43, the Romans had captured the majority of Celtic territory. Samhain was fused with two Roman holidays during the next 400 years: Feralia, a day when Romans remembered their dead, usually at the end of October, and Pomona, a day honoring the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. In honor of the early Roman martyrs, Pope Bonafice IV founded the Catholic feast of All Martyrs' Day in 609 A.D., which was later expanded by Pope Gregory III to include all saints and is currently observed on November 1st as All Saints' Day (known also as Hallowtide or All Hallows). All Souls' Day is observed on November 2nd to remember the saints and to pray for the souls of those who have lately died but have not yet entered heaven. The event surrounding All Saints' Day incorporates several Halloween traditions. Poor individuals, especially youngsters, would travel from house to home “souling,” receiving “soul cakes” in exchange for prayers for gone loved ones; others even wore costumes to shield themselves from wandering souls of the dead.
Protestant Christians objected against Catholic Holy Days like All Saints Day during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries, especially because of Catholic ideas they considered erroneous, such as Purgatory. Purgatory gets its name from the belief that there is still some sin, or impurity, that needs to be cleaned and purged before one can enter Heaven. As a result, it is thought to be a holding place for souls who aren't quite ready for paradise but aren't quite evil enough to go to Hell. After death, no amount of prayers or indulgences – payments made on behalf of departed loved ones to speed up their time in Purgatory may benefit a loved one in this Purgative condition, according to Protestant Christians. Instead, many Protestant Christians began to commemorate the Reformation by offering a variety of alternatives for those who did not choose to observe the Catholic festival. Some dressed up like Bible figures or reformers, and utilized the day to pray and fast together. Many Lutheran churches still use the traditional color of red to commemorate Reformation Day, which represents the Holy Spirit and the Martyrs of the Saints. Martin Luther's hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” is traditionally sung, and many schoolchildren perform plays reenacting incidents from Martin Luther's life.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Whoa!” That's a lot of background information. Is this, however, a reason to enjoy Halloween? That is debatable.
How do Christians respond to Halloween?
1. Some Christians are opposed to the celebration of Halloween.
Many Christians today regard Halloween as a pagan celebration in which the devil is worshipped and evil is praised. They don't want anything to do with the evil that exists in the world, and they'll do everything they can to protect themselves and their children from this heinous holiday. Many churches have replaced Halloween with Fall Festivals, which are more family-friendly and provide a safer alternative to trick-or-treating. Some people prefer to commemorate Reformation Day instead of Halloween because they believe Halloween is a pagan festival that should be avoided.
2. It is accepted by certain Christians.
They claim that Halloween is a pleasant, harmless occasion for children to dress up, collect candy, and have a good time. It's a time for cute décor, parties, pumpkin carvings, lots of laughing, and neighbors trick-or-treating. Because Halloween is a non-religious holiday for many people, some Christians don't mind assimilating and blending in.
Is there a possibility for Christians to respond in a third way? Is it possible to redeem Halloween?
3. It can be redeemed by some Christians.
If we believe that Jesus came to redeem all things, to make all things new, we must affirmatively answer YES! ‘Behold, I am creating all things new,' says Jesus in Revelation 21:5. Halloween is, without a doubt, a part of everything. But how do you do it? Instead of pausing to investigate and having conversations about a topic, we are sometimes quick to cast judgment or skim over it.
We might miss out on Halloween if we dismiss it outright. After all, didn't Jesus teach we should be IN the world but not OF it? Right. But what exactly does that imply? Is this to say that evil exists and that if we close our doors and turn off the lights, it will stay away? If we embrace Halloween as an opportunity to engage with the people around us, rather than as a battle between us and them, we may be able to approach the festival with more compassion and grace, rather than judgment.
Rethinking Our Response
There are some parallels between traditional Celtic ceremonies and Christian traditions that should be noted. Thanksgiving offerings are seen throughout the Old Testament, as God's people sacrifice offerings in recognition of how much God has blessed them. They are first mentioned in Leviticus 7:11-15. Remember how the Celts used to put carved turnips in front of their homes to ward off evil spirits? Is there a narrative in the Old Testament that comes to mind that reminds you of that? Passover. Imagine what may have happened in terms of acceptance and faith in Christ if Christians who came into touch with the Celts long ago had shared some of our histories' parallels and guided them to Jesus, rather than outright rejection or co-opting of a cultural celebration. Paul does the same thing with the Greeks at Athens in Acts 17:22 and following. “I notice that you are exceedingly religious,” he continues, “and hence I proclaim to you what you worship as unknown.” The men of Athens then hear Paul speak about God and what Jesus has done for them. Paul was not scared of the outside world; rather, he confronted it head-on because Jesus had triumphed over it (John 16:33).
Ways to Engage Your Community for Halloween
We may fail to care for and love our neighbors if we are hasty to accept Halloween as it is currently practiced. We leave a bowl of inexpensive candy in front of our door and go help our kids carry in the treasure because “it's about the joy and the candy.” Even in the midst of the jack-o-lanterns, how can we be the light of the world? We have the ability to engage our community!
- Practice hospitality by having the best confectionery so that people would come to your house and stay!
- Get inventive and provide spiced cider and pumpkin bread to the grownups so you can talk to your neighbors.
- Reach outHalloween is an excellent “excuse” to visit your neighbors and get to know them better.
There is no obligation for a Christian to celebrate this festival. If your judgment leads you to abstain or concentrate on the harvest festival activities linked with Halloween, that's fantastic. If, on the other hand, you feel led to do so, the Bible empowers you to properly engage in life on mission, even on Halloween. ‘Everything is lawful, but not everything is beneficial,' says the apostle Paul, and ‘let no one seek his own good but the good of his neighbor' (1 Corinthians 10:23-33). Christians must use discernment and pay attention to what the Spirit calls them to do when it comes to the complex matter of Halloween.
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How is Halloween connected to Christianity?
“Put the Hallow back in Halloween” may appear to be nothing more than a jibe at the annual “Christ back in Christmas” campaign, but there may be some truth to it.
According to Judith Gruber, a religion studies professor, while most of us connect Halloween with costumes, sweets, and tricks, the celebration has different roots in Christian and Celtic customs.
“The term ‘Halloween' is derived from Christian origins. “It signifies holy evening or consecrated evening,” Gruber explained.
Halloween is the day before All Saints Day, which is a day to commemorate the saints, and the day after is a day to memorialize the dead, according to the Christian calendar.
The Church would usually hold a vigil on Oct. 31 to prepare people for these two major days with prayers and fasting. According to Gruber, this became known as All Hallows' Eve.
The feast can be traced even further back to the old Celtic festival Samhain, which was Christianized by the early Church, according to Gruber.
She went on to say that it was thought that at Samhain, the spirits of the dead might mingle with the living, and that relics of the festival may still be seen in modern rituals.
Almost all Halloween practices may be traced back to the old Celtic day of the dead, according to Jack Santino, an academic folklorist at the American Folklife Center.
“Halloween is a celebration with a lot of enigmatic customs, but each one has a history, or at least a tale,” Santino explained.
People would dress up in masks and ask their neighbors for soul-cakes, or cakes for wandering souls, as part of a Samhain practice known as “mumming.”
What does God say about trick or treating?
For decades, Christian parents have debated whether or not to allow their children to participate in Trick-or-Treat. Let's look at how Christians may and should Trick-or-Treat while remaining a light in their communities and strengthening family bonds and friendships while enjoying the beautiful fall season. Friends, fasten your seatbelts! I'm going to say a few things…
Christians Who Trick-Or-Treat
We are Christians who participate in trick-or-treating. My kid, however, does the trick-or-treating because my husband and I are a little too elderly!
This is not an attempt to persuade you that we are correct. I simply wanted to share a little bit about my Christian viewpoint on Halloween.
Whether you are a Christian who abhors all things Halloween, a Christian who is fine with Halloween alternatives and maybe giving out candy to Trick-or-Treaters, a Christian who is totally fine with Halloween, or a non-Christian who doesn't understand the fuss, I hope my thoughts will allow you to see Halloween in a new light for a moment.
Note: Before leaving a comment, please see the update at the bottom of this post. Thank you very much!
WHAT IS ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
“Halloween is the celebration of the devil.” Isn't this something you've heard before? In terms of terminology, the word “The Christian feasts of All Saints Day (All Hallows Day) and All Hallows Eve are the inspiration for “Halloween.” However, because the way Halloween is celebrated in current culture is undeniably steeped in pagan and satanic customs, some Christians have chosen to avoid the event entirely.
GROWING UP IN THE HALLOWEEN-ALTERNATIVE ERA
Halloween was forbidden in my Christian home in the 1980s and 1990s. As a kid, I never went trick-or-treating. Parents wrote letters to their children's schools requesting that they be excused from Halloween-themed festivities and projects. We learned about the dangers of the holiday in church.
You don't have to feel sorry for me! I didn't feel deprived in the least. In fact, I was looking forward to the end of October, when our church would host a Halloween alternative party for the kids, where I could dress up as a Biblical character (typically Queen Esther because she was amazing), play games, and eat a ton of candy.
It's been more than two decades since I was a kid who loved “Hallelujah Night” parties and avoided all things Halloween. As an adult, a Christian, a neighbor, and a dad, I've began to reconsider my anti-Halloween stance. Here are some of the reasons for this:
Who gave the devil a day?!
You might be able to get away with reserving October 31st “However, I do not choose to celebrate the “devil's” holiday by avoiding anything that resembles Halloween in any manner. The concept of giving appeals to me “The term “the devil” refers to a day on the calendar that is absolutely absurd.
Trick-or-treating does not make a person a Satanist any more than Christmas makes an atheist a Christian.
Fear is a powerful thing.
Hearing about the Holocaust as a child “I was terrified of the “evil” Halloween celebration. It's the concept of it being the “The Devil's Holiday” was a nightmare. I was terrified because I had no idea how to digest the Halloween information I was receiving. As a result, I'm very careful about what I tell my daughter about Halloween now that I'm a parent. I don't see why we should be concerned and scared about potentially abstract notions in children. It's not good for you.
What kind of Christian are you?
It frustrates me much when Christians use their opposition to Halloween as a reason not to bless the children in their community. When else do you get the chance to be a good, moral person, and a light in your community just falls into your lap like this?
Consider the following questions to determine what kind of Christian you are: “Do you want to be a “rule” follower or a reflection of Christ? The rules are subjective and based on your culture, experience, and unique point of view, whereas Christ is freedom, love, generosity, and all things good and flawless.
Remember that the name “Halloween” comes from the word “hallowed,” which meaning “holy.” “It's sacred.” Some Christians have allowed October 31st to be considered as a day of evil for a little period in our recent Christian history, but I believe the day should be redeemed. We redeem the day by doing what we should do every day: loving people as Jesus loves them.
On Trick-or-Treat night, I am confident that Jesus would have been out in the neighborhood handing out candy to youngsters… You don't think I'm telling the truth? Continue reading.