Halloween, the spooky holiday. Commonly understood as Christianity’s most controversial holiday, Halloween is the subject of much talk during the month of October. Kids, excited for a new holiday, prepare their costumes weeks in advance. Moms buy literal pounds of candy, ready to give it out to any hungry trick-or-treater. Dads buy new garden hoses, preparing to spray any potential pranksters (see Calvin and Hobbes for more details).
Today is Halloween day. In just a few hours, children will be preparing to don costumes and eat candy. Across the continent, hundreds of thousands of children wait in joyful expectation. However, many parents are anxious.
Halloween is a holiday that provides potential kidnappers easy access to stray children. On a day with throngs of children in the streets, who would miss one? This, and more, goes through every adult head during Halloween.
Despite its drawbacks, Halloween is often described as one of the most fun and enjoyable holidays that we celebrate. After all, who doesn’t love dressing up to get free candy? However, too many, Halloween isn’t a question of safety but a matter of conscience.
Across the United States, thousands of parents lock their doors and close their blinds, quietly protesting what they claim is “a dark holiday that celebrates death”. While their claims may have some legitimacy, I personally believe that all Christians should celebrate Halloween, and here’s why.
- Halloween is, despite contrary belief, not a holiday that celebrates death. History.com tells us that it was actually begun as a day to ward off ghosts:
…..Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2019 occurs on Thursday, October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats. (History.com Editors 2019)
This day was not begun as a celebration for the dead, but actually the opposite. It was originally started as a day to ward of ghosts. Eventually, it was combined with another holiday: All Saints Day, which celebrated the Roman Catholic saints. Obviously, the origin of this date had no ill intentions.
- Even in modern times, the holiday itself is not intended to celebrate the dead. While many chose to “celebrate” death by wearing grim costumes of skeletons and demons, others chose a more innocent route. Many little girls dress up as princesses, and many boys chose to dress as a ninja or pirate. Christians, we should not assume that a holiday is evil simply because many celebrate it that way. If we are to do as we are called and minister to the unbelievers, then that means we must also “become all things to all peoples” (English Standard Version, 1 Corinthians. 9.22). One of the most wonderful ways to witness to people is through imitating their customs. Isn’t it a known fact that “imitation is the highest form of flattery”? So, instead of cowering in your house, why don’t you dress up as a cowboy and witness to the other parents on your street? Give out candy and Bible verses. Do something to impact your community through Halloween.
- Candy is amazing. Enough said.
Halloween is another fun holiday that can go two ways. Either you can overthink it and look at the people around you for its meaning, or you can focus on the Creator of this holiday and simply enjoy what it has to offer while witnessing to your neighbors. Instead of a gravestone in your yard, put up something awesome like a “He Has Risen!” sign over an empty grave. Christians, let’s remember to focus on the Creator of the holiday, not the participants. Enjoy your candy!
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“History of Halloween.” History, https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween
The Bible. English Standard Version, Crossway, 2011.