It’s that time again; the autumn leaves falling from the multi-colored branches and the aroma of candied apples emerging from homes decorated in orange and black. For some, it’s such a special treat to finally approach the holiday of Halloween. Every costume store is crowded with goons and goblins holding carved jack-o-lanterns filled with candy corn. The children flooding the streets are decked in their favorite superhero and Disney princess outfits.
But the Halloween holiday is not always so enjoyable for everyone. There are some families that don’t participate in the festivities, and it’s not fairly uncommon practice to avoid the holiday altogether due to religious beliefs but, what’s so bad about getting free candy and dressing up? Most people don’t see a reason to miss out on all the fun.
Well, Christians tend to focus on the history of Halloween, which comes from the time of the ancient pagans. They believed that on October 31st, the living and dead world would overlap and the deceased would come wreak havoc through sickness and damaging crops. The people wore masks and costumes to mimic and appease the evil spirits. In more recent times, we’ve made it a tradition to go trick-or-treating, which is term for the activity in which children proceed from house to house asking for a treat – and if it is not received – they’ll play a devious trick on the homeowner. The trick-or-treating resembles the practice of “souling” in medieval times, when the poor went door to door begging for food in return for prayers for the dead. Even more disturbing is the origin of the jack-o-lantern, which comes from the legend of a man named “Stingy Jack” who continued playing tricks on the Devil. The Bible clearly states in Ephesians 5:11: 11 Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them.
On the more celebratory side of Halloween, most people aren’t associating the origin with Halloween traditions, and typically just view celebrating Halloween as an exciting event! Halloween parties and trick-or-treating are harmless and fun. Everyone is excited to spend quality time with family and friends carving out pumpkins and preparing desserts and candy for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. The terrifying haunted house tours are spooky and give you a heart-pounding rush as you lookout for your every step. It’s also a perfect time to gather around a campfire and tell ghost stories until you’re scared out of your pants. Most importantly, you can’t forget the entertaining and memorable moments of dressing up as someone other than you for a day. It’s all in good fun to be scared and spooked. The magical stories are just make-believe, so they don’t hold any spiritual meaning or lasting impact.
So the question remains, should Christians celebrate Halloween?
words by: Candice Grevious |@miss_nightowl