Trick or treating, costumes, Jack O’ Lanterns and candy, what’s the big deal about them?
Well, to understand the validity of Halloween and its customs, we must learn of its origins.
According to history.com’s article, Halloween, the celebration comes from Celtic beginnings: “On the night of October 31 they [Celts] celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to the earth”. (November 1 marked the beginning of their new year) (2017). People “wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes” (“Halloween”, 2017), and they wore masks to disguise themselves as spirits, so the spirits roaming the earth would not harm them (“Halloween”, 2017). The youth would also dress up in costumes for candy, money and other forms of entertainment (“Halloween”, 2017).
After Rome occupied much of the Celtic territory, the papacy attempted to make Halloween a holy day when Pope Gregory changed the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day, “from May 13 to to November 1” (“Halloween”, 2017). Eventually, the Catholic church established November 2 as All Soul’s Day: a “day to honor the dead” (“Halloween”, 2017).
Now, the Jack O’Lantern originates from an Irish tale in which a man named Stingy Jack, after tricking the devil on more than one occasion, was not let into hell or heaven (“History of the Jack O’Lantern”, 2017). So, his spirit is supposed have been roaming the earth. As a result, people from Ireland, and Scotland “[carved] scary faces into turnips and potatoes and [placed] them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used” (“History of Jack O’Lantern”, 2017). Today, Americans use pumpkins for this tradition.
These are the origins of Halloween. Based on the historical evidence, Halloween is a holiday to celebrate the dead: something God does not approve of (Luke 20:38). Worship of the dead is associated with necromancy and witchcraft which is an “abomination unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
Let us shun any association with this holiday, for even the Catholic Church’s attempt to sanctify the day of the devil is vain. Truth and falsehood cannot mix. One drop of falsehood adulterates a whole pot of truth. Therefore, let us, “be perfect be with the LORD [our] God”(Deuteronomy 18:13).