The ‘holiday’ originated, with the Celts who lived in the areas of Ireland, Great Britain and France. Druids who were religious priests, scientists and judges, had pagan festivals and rituals. The Fire Festival known as Samhain was celebrated at harvest, the Celtic New Year. Samahain was a solemn night in the Celtic year when spirits of the dead moved among human beings.
In 835 A.D. Pope Gregory IV moved the church’s “Feast of All Saints” from the spring to November 1 to replace Samhain. Today All Saints Day is observed by many Christian people to honor believers who have died. The night before All Saints Day is known as All Hallow’s Eve. The church denounced the practices of the Druids and labeled it as witchcraft, which is how Halloween became known as a witch’s holiday.
The Halloween celebrated in North America today is much different than in the past. It is said that when Irish and Scottish immigrants came to North America in the 19th century they brought with them their traditions of Halloween and the night became an occasion for pranks and mischief. The door to door tradition came about in the late 1920’s to early 1930’s in an effort to curb the vandalism, the children were given treats from homeowners.
A lot of that I didn’t know, but there didn’t used to be “google” either! It was probably about 16 years ago that we decided that Halloween wasn’t for us. We found other things to do on that night. We didn’t participate in giving out treats nor did we go door to door soliciting treats from others. I am not judging anyone who does participate, it just wasn’t something that we felt comfortable with. I can admit that as our kids got older we were asked each year why couldn’t they do it, their friends and classmates were doing it. I don’t think we ever came up with a good reason, we just felt uncomfortable with the way that Halloween was becoming increasingly more and more evil even its appearance. The spider webs on trees, the ghosts and “people” hanging in trees, the costumes were mainly witches or devils and even though we didn’t have all the answers for our kids as to “why” they/we did participate, we stood firm in our decision. We still bought candy/treats but instead of having our kids go to strangers for candy, we gave it out in our home.
There is a good article about Halloween on Crosswalk, so if you’d like to read it, click here. The article is written by Julie Ferwerds a Crosswalk.com contributing writer. She makes a good point about Hallowed and Holy…“The dictionary defines “hallowed,” from which the word, “Halloween” comes, as holy, consecrated, sacred, revered. In my mind, that opens up the question, “Who is being worshiped and revered on Halloween?” That is so obvious, but I hadn’t thought about it before! Slow, I know! She goes on to say: “On the Satanic Calendar, Halloween is one of the most significant nights of the year when “attempts are made to break the bond which is keeping the doors to the underworld closed.” Sexual rituals are performed in association with demons and blood sacrifices called, “The Blood Feast of the Dead.” Both human and animal sacrifices are included, with the focus placed on children ages seven to eighteen.”
It is disturbing to think about these things and what goes on in this world but we have all the protection we need at our disposal, we only need to choose to use it.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preperation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the firey darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perserverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:10-18