11.10.2014

Why I Didn't Celebrate Halloween (And Never Will!)



Halloween.  October 31st.  Candy.  Kids dressed in costumes.  Skulls and Spider Webs.  Ghosts and Jack O' Lanterns.  But what is Halloween,  Really?

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Halloween started as an Ancient Celtic celebration in the British Isle.  It was a celebration of the feast of Samhain; a time to collect the harvests and welcome their new year.  They believed that spirits of their dead ancestors (Many people groups and religions around the world, even today, believe in the "living spirits" of the dead) would come back around and visit them on what we know as October 31st.  In order to please the spirits, they left food out on their doorsteps, and kept the doors and windows open, to give the spirits free passage into their homes.  They believed that if the spirits were happy, they would not come back and hurt the living.

Around this time Christianity spread into those areas.  Often, even today, so-called "Christians" will come into new areas and try to adapt to the culture by "selling Christianity through the current 'religion'." (I could go much more into this, maybe another blog post. ;)  So, in order to adapt to this feast of the dead, and yet still make them more "Christian," they combined November 1st, an All Saint's Day with this feast.  The prayer that was said on All Saints Day was called Allhallowmas.  The night before that became known as All Hakkiwe’en, or Halloween.

The story is almost identical for the Mexican holiday, The Day of the Dead.  The Aztec's celebrated this holiday, and when the Spaniards arrived in the sixteenth century, the same thing happened as with the Celtics.  All Saint's Day combined with their beliefs and a day to celebrate the dead was accepted.  Interestingly enough, this day also fell on what we call October 31st.  Now it runs from the 31st to November 2nd.  The Mexican holiday is much closer to our current holiday; which bright colors on candies and a cheerful attitude towards it.  Mexican children go on a form of trick-or-treating, and their little catchphrase for it is: pedir muertos, or to ask for the dead.  In some places, they are given things off of what is called the family's Day of the Dead alter.

Jack-o-Laterns came in as ways to keep of evil fairies lurking; almost like a scarecrow.  In the mid-1800's, when waves of immigrants from Scotland and Ireland came to the US, Halloween and making jack-o-laterns became popular, but it is unknown exactly when it started.  However, in 1866, a magazine reported a large amount of pumpkins being "sacrificed" for Halloween.  By the 1920's the holiday had been embraced by the entire nation, and by the mid-1930's trick-or-treating was the norm.

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Hopefully that gave you a brief history of how Halloween started.  While I know that most Americans do it without even knowing about the spiritual side of it; but for me, knowing about it causes me to stop and think.  I know that people say that you can do things without believing in the spiritual side of it; but I believe that they really can't be separate the two.  Here's an example:

Suppose a music band plainly stated that they were following in Hitler's beliefs.  That was what all their songs were about, they had it plastered all over their website, and even the titles of the songs and album covers were all things related to Hitler.  They supported Hitler conferences, and gave rallies to try and convert people.  Now, what if I went to all of their concerts, and raved about how I liked their music, and wore their shirts and hummed their songs, and bought all their albums, but yet when you asked if I knew what they believed in, if I just replied, "Oh, well I don't 'do' that part of them.  I just like how they sound.  I'm against Hitler and his beliefs entirely."  You would think I was a fool, right?  You would probably laugh in my face if you weren't so disgusted.  How could I be so "for" something and yet not "believe" it?

Now, I know that example was a bit extreme.  But, if you really think about it, it's got the same principle.  If I know Halloween was a pagan worship of dead spirits, can I just turn away and "choose" not to see?  Not to believe?

Halloween is a pagan holiday.  No way around it.  If you choose to try and celebrate it without believing in it, that is your chose.  But I will continue to stand in my Christian faith and only worship my One and True God.  Because HE is what I put my faith in.  Not dead ancestors.

~Jessica

*Disclaimer: I know that there will be people that disagree with me on this issue.  I truly did not mean to insult or put down anyone, despite what holidays they participate in.  These are my individual beliefs.  If you have any concerns, questions, comments, or thoughts, please leave them below.  Feel free to share this post, as long as you always link back to me.  Information was gathered here off of multiple websites, but no direct quotes were taken.  I used multiple sources to verify this information and if you find any fault in this information, it was unintentional on my part.  Please inform me if you catch anything.  Thank you.*

16 comments:

  1. Powerful and very interesting post! I enjoyed it very much, and I agree with you 100%!

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    1. Thank you so much, Clara!!! Thank you for the encouragement. =) <3

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  2. I agree with you completely! I think that the only good thing about Halloween is watching little kids dress up in costumes. I still don't like the fact that people go around to people's houses they don't know and get candy...it's kinda scary.
    -Lauren <3

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, they are cute, but that is scary. Almost every year, even in our own town, I've heard of someone somewhere getting hurt or ever killed while trick-or-treating. And disobeying God is not worth any fun. Thank you for your comment! <3

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  3. I agree! Good post, Jessica! My family and I don't celebrate Halloween either. :)

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    1. Thank you, Micaiah!! That is great. =) <3

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  4. You go girl!! I totally agree. I love the example at the end, btw. =D <3

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    1. Thank you!!! Haha, I'm mighty proud of that one, I am ;D <3

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  5. I totally agree with you, Jessica. The history you posted was interesting. The way you explained it was great. Good points. Great post!:)

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  6. I 100% see where you are coming from, and I agree that the roots of it are absolutely ridiculous and disgusting.
    I've grown up always trick or treating, and I totally get how it began.
    BUT, it is such a great, fun holiday for Christians to celebrate! When else will dozens of neighbors come to your door? As Christians we are called to be lights, and what a great way to welcome kids to your door for candy! Also, it is such a fun way to fellowship with and grow closer to friends.
    I don't celebrate ghouls and witches and demons. I celebrate candy and fellowship and coming together as a neighborhood.
    I'm not saying you do this, but I know many families that leave their lights off and go to dinner or play games in the basement so people will not go to their door. It is their way of making a stand against the values under which Halloween came to be. I feel like that almost goes against our values as Christ followers. We are supposed to be lights, welcoming people in. You simply cannot show others the love of Christ that way. I'm not saying it is necessary to go trick or treating, but it's good to at least be home to give candy. :) Again, I am not pointing fingers or saying you do this. :)
    I dunno, that's just my opinion. I don't even go trick or treating anymore, lol. :P

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Another person spoke to me about this, and I believe you are absolutely right. I forgot that point when I was writing my post because we live way, WAY out in the middle of nowhere, and the only real person around us is a grandmother who lives "next door," although you can't even see her house through the trees. So, trick-or-treating is not something that exists where I live. I do agree that it can be a good witnessing opportunity, and a lady at our church said that they let their kids dress up and hand out candy and tracks to trick-or-treaters. I certainly agree with all this. What I was really getting at is, as a heart issue, we need to be careful not to just "go with the flow" but to really think about what we are doing, and whether it is God-honoring. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts! I plan on having a "re-directing" post, so that everyone can see this. =)

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    2. LOL Jess! If I lived in the middle if nowhere, you bet I wouldn't be trick or treating either! :) Here in the suburbs, it's a lot different. It's also a really big cultural thing depending on where you live. Also, I'm kinda too old to trick or treat in high school :(
      I love your though-ie posts!!!

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    3. Haha!! Yes, I'm sure it is. I forget what it's like to live around other people! ;) Yeah. It stinks outgrowing stuff, doesn't it. =P Thank you! And thank you for understanding; and being such a good friend. =) <3

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Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think! I love comments; they always make my day, and they are what makes blogging worthwhile! =)