Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy Halloween, By Leah F.

Happy Halloween

By Leah F.

Happy Halloween! The scary time is almost here, and I know some people are excited. But here is a question; do you celebrate Halloween? I do, but in my family we aren’t allowed to be anything scary or dark. Halloween is a big deal going on in the Christian community, because people don’t know whether it is right to celebrate it or not as Christians. What do you think? Here I have put together the history of Halloween, some Bible verses, and some personal views on the subject of Halloween.

Halloween comes from a Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”) which means “summer’s end.” Samhain is the celebration of the end of harvest season. In this time, the pagans believed that OCtober 31 was when the living and dead worlds overlapped, and the dead would be able to come back to the living, and they would make people sick and ruin some of the crops. The pagans would then have bonfires and wear masks and costumes in order to please the spirits, so they wouldn’t hurt them.

There is controversy about what Samhain was really about though. Some people think it was devoted to worshipping the dead, or their god of death Saman. While others believe that Samhain was a time to just prepare for the winter and gather supplies while thanking the people who had already passed.

But where do we get our Halloween? Some folklorists believe and have evidence that Halloween customs were brought over by Irish Immigrants. Then, children picked up, and Halloween was then a colonial wide children’s holiday. By the late 1800’s the mischief of tricking caught on. People would unhinge farmer’s gates, egg people’s houses, etc. But by the early 1900’s, the tricks got a bit more serious, and that is the type you might see on the news. Then, to try and stop the “tricking” the town would bribe the children with candy, saying that if they stopped tricking they could get a treat. So then the children got to dress up, and go from house to house getting their candy and going “trick or treat!”

Now here’s the question; should Christians celebrate this “holiday?” Now, unlike some people think, the pagans were not worshiping Satan, but just their ancestors. But for some people, and I think for most Christians, that is still not a good reason. Witches and all that “black magic” stuff actually stopped once the Catholic Church started persecuting them, but they are still in the Halloween culture. Now Ephesians 5:11 says “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” So, then some people would take that as “don’t go along with pagan rituals.” But another question is; if you are nothing scary, and only are getting candy, is it really that bad? Now of course, I can’t go right up and say “Halloween is okay!” or “Halloween is bad!” because that wouldn’t really be true either way. My personal belief is that even if Christians do celebrate Halloween, it won’t determine whether they go to heaven or not, so you can choose.



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