Halloween, To Be Celebrated or Not?
Halloween is the night ghouls and demons come out to play, this is the reason many love it, as well as the reason many do not. Though the holiday is beloved by secular culture, there remains many religious individuals who choose to abstain from it.
The History Channel records that the celebration began as the Celtic celebration Samhain. It was believed that October 31 was a day that the dead came back to Earth. Many believed that the dead ruined crops, and that on this day their priests, druids, could see the future more clearly.
This Pagan celebration was marked by grand bonfires, the burning of crops, and animal sacrifices to the Celtic gods. They dressed in costumes to stave away the ghosts and attempted to predict their futures. This resulted in the tradition of dressing up in today’s culture.
As the Romans conquered the majority of Celtic territory, they combined their fall celebrations with the Celtic ones. This is until the Catholic faith established the day as All-Saints Day, a celebration they used to commemorate both Christian martyrs and Saints, on the day following the traditional day of Samhain.
They then moved the memorial of the dead to November 2, which they named All-Spirits Day and their celebration appeared very similar to the Celtic celebrations. They dressed up as various saints, angels, and even demons and celebrated those who had passed away.
With the traditional day of Samhain preceding that of All-Saints Day, it was titled All-Hallows Eve, eventually becoming Halloween.
Since then the celebration has changed greatly. With the move to America, many European ethnic groups continued the celebrations, but Protestant belief soon set itself against the holiday. The southern states used it to mark harvest but it began to take on a darker tone, and was soon stripped of its religious meanings.
Kassi Gonzales, the daughter of two pastors, and a music education major at ENMU, grew up not celebrating the holiday and has chosen to continue to abstain from it. She shares the sentiment of many as she touches on how Halloween is dark and even evil, and should be avoided.
She stated that while she was growing up, she was “looked down upon for not celebrating” but that never changed her resolve.
Looking at the history of the holiday, it has had many different religious tones, but today it is nearly devoid of it. It is largely a darker, secular holiday, and has caused concern from many evangelical groups. So though October 31 is the day witches, demons, and ghouls come out to play, there are some who aren’t having any of it.