Okay, I have to say it: the people of Georgia’s 14th District are obviously the dumbest people in America. Anyone...Read more
Don't like to read? Listen Now!
Should Christians celebrate Halloween? This year, it falls on a Sunday. This has been a controversial topic for decades. Some view dressing up, eating candy, and enjoying the festivities harmless and innocent, while others view it as an offense to their faith. Americans spend nearly $6.9 billion yearly, making it the second-largest commercial holiday in the country. As commercialized as the celebration has become, many of its roots are completely paganist. Is this a cause for Christians to avoid the entire celebration?
This is a time of year filled with debate, but not necessarily politics. Many Christians believe Halloween is a satanic holiday, while the rest of the world has found its sweet spot complete with costumes and candy. Children and adults seem to love dressing up and enjoying the festivities, suggesting from its haunted history to modern festivities, this holiday is a big deal. With decorations, candy, parties, and costumes, the average American spends up to $100 or more in the spirit of celebration.
Halloween is the holiday that links the seasons of fall and winter. Reportedly, it originated with one of the ancient Celtic festivals; an event where people would wear various costumes and light bonfires in hopes of warding off roaming ghosts. However, by the late 1800s, Americans shifted the theory of Halloween into a holiday centered on community and fun events. For many people, the focus has shifted from witchcraft and ghosts to neighborhood celebratory events. Given the evolution, should Christians change their stance to celebrate the holiday?
Despite having at least partial roots from a Christian tradition, the relationship between Halloween and Christians has long been complicated. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther essentially started the Protestant Reformation in Wittenberg, Germany, when he nailed his 95 Theses to a door. Many early Christian groups that came to America rejected this holiday as pagan. The Protestant Reformation heavily influenced the Pilgrims, Puritans, Quakers, and Baptists, causing a majority to frown upon it. However, that did not prevent Halloween from finding its way to American shores.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III dedicated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs. The holiday became widely recognized as All Saints’ Day. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve, which later became Halloween. The word “hallow” originated from the Old English word for “holy” and “e’en” is an abbreviation of “evening.” As such, Halloween represented the night before All Saints Day.
Over time, Halloween advanced into a secular, community-based holiday branded by child-friendly activities including costumes, neighborhood trick-or-treating, and more recently, trunk-or-treating. Along with a variety of pumpkin-flavored foods, parties for both children and adults have become a common way to celebrate the holiday. Some Christians still choose to lock themselves indoors with the lights off, but others have found freedom in their faith and are at liberty to decide when and how to participate.
In multiple countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to escort the winter season with candy-coated gatherings and a wide range of costumes. Halloween is a celebration that allows people of all ages to participate. Nevertheless, the question remains, “Should Christians celebrate?”
Due to the efforts of community leaders and parents, Halloween has lost most of its illogical and religious undertones, and is now more about imagination than spooky interpretation. There is nothing sinful about a Christian dressing up and participating in fun, non-threatening celebrations. Today, many Christians find no harm in dressing in costumes, attending parties and festivals, as well as allowing their children to participate in school and local activities.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Kidsville News: Around the World – October
Grace to You: Christians and Halloween
Top Image Courtesy of Bill Rogers’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image (1) Courtesy of Diego Delso – Wikipedia Creative Commons License
Inline Image (2) Courtesy of Bill Rogers’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of JCuik – PXFuel Creative Commons License