Who’s Afraid of Halloween?
Halloween is an outgrowth of the Celtic pagan holiday Samhain in which the ancient Celts commemorated the end of the summer harvest by holding huge feasts to celebrate the summer’s end. Roman Catholic Popes Gregory III & IV would later adopt this tradition by replacing Samhain with All Saints Day in which holiday would also come to be known as All Hallows Eve. Even though Christians adopted many holidays of ancient pagan faiths, one thing that did not change were festive events held celebrating the abundance people in each culture accumulated thanks to their hard work.
Yet there are some Christians, and even members of Jewish sects, highlight their anti-life sentiments by demeaning the nature of holidays like Halloween. The fact that people go out and buy food (usually candy) and give it out voluntarily to children who come to people’s doorstep asking for it, one would think is something Halloween critics would ultimately endorse since it is another form of charitable giving.
After the exchange, Trick-or-Treaters express their thanks for your generosity and go their merry way knowing they will enjoy yet another sweet treat when they get home. I regularly buy bags of candy and give it to people at my job. I get satisfaction knowing that I spread good will by doing this. Admittedly there is vandalism and pranks performed during Halloween but this is the exception and not the rule.
Halloween is one more reminder of the wealth and abundance we accumulate throughout the year. We enjoy and the gifts we give to people for the satisfaction of doing so while decorating our homes, work cubicles, and sometimes dressing up in costumes all done in good fun and in a non-sacrificial way. But since Halloween involves giving treats, participating in other forms of entertainment (such as visiting haunted houses or even viewing horror movies) and not sacrifice religionists hypocritically degrade it.
While I am no fan of horror movies, religionists who condemn them have no problem attempting to scare the faithful into not celebrating Halloween. They allege the holiday itself is a covenant with death and hell but yet many Christian denominations symbolically eat the body and drink the blood of their savior during Sunday mass. Most even laud the sacrifice of Jesus by reading aloud accounts of his horrific torture and death during church services. Christians also commemorate Jesus’s life and work with many paintings and art forms of his bloodied, pain-stricken body nailed to a cross in their temples of worship.
Lets not forget the tales of the many clergy, saints, and missionaries who were tortured, persecuted and even killed for their beliefs including the act of publicly begging people (i.e. proselytizing) to repent and convert to their religion. Religious martyr’s sacrificial lives (who often end violently) are held as a high moral standard for people to follow. But when it comes to having fun during holidays (like Halloween) many religionists frown upon it.
Don’t get me wrong, if people choose not to celebrate holidays, like Halloween, for religious or personal reasons that is certainly their right. But I think to condemn Halloween as being evil or satanic because of it’s, admittedly, pagan origins or for kids dressing up as things like ghosts, gouls, warlocks, witches or even for the act of watching horror films is silly. And to deny children the ability to go out Trick-or-Treating or ostracize people for celebrating Halloween based on the notion that it goes against their religious faith or deity’s dictates is irrational and wrong.
Halloween is a great way to kick off the holiday season. I could not think of a better way for people to enjoy the holiday than with candy, costumes, friends, family and fun.