Religion

Halloween Really Won’t Harm You

Where does Halloween originate from? Is it pagan or Christian? What does that mean about the morality of celebrating the holiday?

While this Halloween will be different from the one most of us have grown to love, I will not only celebrate it, but I’ll also dress up as Harry Potter.

That’s two birds with one stone for the Fundamentalists. Just from that, I’ve undoubtedly made them run around screaming that I’m a devil worshipper.

From childhood, I celebrated Halloween with my family. Still, when life suddenly popped me into The Christian Community through my school, I was quickly informed of the bad thing we were doing. Halloween is not something we should take lightly. After all, dark forces are lurking around. They are real, and we can’t go around celebrating a pagan holiday. We are, in fact, worshipping Satan if we were to take a careful look at the Bible.

Before, it was perfectly acceptable for me to dress up as a black cat and go to school on October 31st. This time around, that was strongly frowned upon.

My family and I would try to wiggle our way into The (uninviting) Community by hosting parties. Both my mom and I adore getting people together and having fun. Hosting Halloween parties in a Christian school was, unfortunately, not one of our best ideas. While we did do it every year, we had 2-5 people show up and find it acceptable. Everyone else judged and disapproved.

Trick or treating? More like tricking ourselves into treating demons in our home!

After all, what does dressing up as a ghost say about your heart? While the Bible doesn’t mention Halloween, it sure warns us to stay away from evil.

And that’s precisely what I would like to explore.

Is Halloween evil?

I’m sure you’ve been confused by whether Halloween is a pagan holiday or one of Christian origins. No need to worry! I’ve done my research and hope to present the information found.

I’d strongly suggest reading this article from the fantastic source, History. With incredible historical details, it tells us that Halloween originated from the Celtic New Year.

The Celts lived 2,000 years ago, habituating Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. November 1st marked their first winter day, which represented the cold, uncertain season associated with death.

Their festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in since it is Gaelic) marked the day the lines between the world of the living and the dead became blurred.

People dressed as ghosts hoping to be unrecognized by the actual spirits.

Soon, the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church influenced Samhain by combining their significant celebrations with it. After the Romans conquered Celtic territory, two Roman festivals mixed with the pagan holiday. Roughly 400 years later, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the day to honor all Christian martyrs and saints. Soon after, November 2nd became All Saints Day.

“It’s widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, church-sanctioned holiday.”

history.com

Wow. I did not wake up today, thinking I would find out that the Christian vs. Halloween argument went a thousand years back, yet here I am.

If I’m honest, it makes me sad that the Church focused on this instead of the million things wrong in the world.

I can’t imagine erasing another culture’s celebration because it doesn’t fit the Christian narrative in our modern times. Thank goodness.

Now, onto my main argument, do you think Halloween is that different from Christmas and Easter? Don’t.

Both of these holidays originate from—you guessed it!—pagan holidays. Does that make them evil too? If not, why do you say that?

Christmas goes all the way back to ancient Egypt, has roots in Norse gods, and of course, became the celebration of Jesus’ birth due to the switch from the Roman Winter Solstice. All of these are pagan festivals. And I only listed three.

Easter originates from the English spring goddess Eostre, Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex, and the Jewish Passover.

Hm, most of these seem non-Jesus-y. However, we still celebrate these holidays, and more importantly, there is no controversy around them! All these holidays are Christianized. Why do we still have to argue over one of them?

What do you believe is more important? The roots of where something came from, or what you make of it? The entrepreneurs of the world are exclaiming the answer to you.

The amount of fear around dressing up in costumes and getting free candy is perplexing to me. Halloween builds community, enhances social abilities, reinforces being kind to your neighbor, and encourages adventure and creativity. All these themes seem positive and useful to me.

Now, the demons, evil, and lighting a candle for your loved one is optional. You get to choose how you do Halloween, and you don’t get to dictate how others do it. Some families, like mine, are going to light a candle for their lost loved ones. They are going to carve a pumpkin. They will put up Halloween decorations and dress up in fun costumes. Other families won’t celebrate the holiday at all.

None of these things are wrong.

What is wrong is choosing to do something a certain way without making that decision yourself.

It is incorrect to act according to what you were told without knowing why you’re behaving that way.

Struggle. Feel uncomfortable. And come to a conclusion on your own, from your own research! You are an independent person who has their own functioning brain.

Use it.

Let’s be better people today than we were yesterday.

Legyünk jobb emberek ma, mint tegnap.

Seamos mejores personas hoy que ayer.

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