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The Origins of Halloween: Can You Separate the Past from the Present?


Can you take something defiled and turn it into something clean? Or will it always be defiled? This is a question I want all readers to ponder upon as we dive into this topic.


October 31, a day many recognize and celebrate as being Halloween, is a day full of lights, costumes, candies, get-togethers, and fun.


Many people do not celebrate this day with evil intentions, but ignorantly find themselves participating in rituals and traditions that go against their self-proclaimed morals and values.


Many schools and churches participate in Halloween events and parties because “it’s for the kids.” Where have we heard this one before? Satan Clause, I mean Santa Clause. Once again, I reiterate that you cannot take something with one intention and try to use it for your own intention. It will always possess the intention of its origin, no matter what you do to try and avoid it, especially when the traditions and rituals have not changed. For edification purposes, I will present historical facts regarding the Halloween holiday so that all who come into contact with this information cannot deny the acts that they are willingly participating in. Once you are privy to the knowledge, you will be held accountable for how you operate moving forward.


The Origins of Halloween

Halloween was not always known by the name, Halloween, although the traditions have remained the same no matter what the holiday was called. The ancient Celts participated in a pagan festival called Samhain, a festival that welcomed the harvest at the end of summer and ushered in the dark half of the year. During this time, it was thought that the barriers between the physical realm and spirit realm were broken and humans could interact with the dead. Traditionally, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off the roaming spirits. During this time, the Druids also participated in a similar celebration with the lighting of a wheel that was meant to represent the sun, and festivals were held to commune with the dead.


Much like other mainstream holidays celebrated globally, church leaders tried to flip the holiday into a Christian one. In the 5th century, Pope Boniface IV moved the celebration to May 13 and specified it as a day to celebrate saints and martyrs. In the 9th century, Pope Gregory called it All Saints Day on November 1 followed by All Souls Day on November 2. All Souls Day was a day to honor the dead that was similar to Samhain with the big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes. By A.D. 43, the Romans conquered much of Celtic territory and they combined two festivals to participate in similar traditions. The first was Feralia, a festival where the Romans commemorated the dead. The second was Pomona, a festival that honored the Roman goddess of agriculture and abundance.


The Symbols of Halloween

Costumes, candy, bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, and apple-bobbing are all key indicators that Halloween is approaching. But what do these symbols actually mean?


Trick-or-Treating

There are a couple of theories as to where the tradition of trick-or-treating originated. One theory is that the Celtic people would leave food out to appease the spirits traveling the earth at night. Another theory is that poor adults and children would collect food and money from the community in return for prayers from the dead on All Souls’ Day.


Jack-o-Lanterns

The traditions of Jack-o-lanterns began as an Irish legend that a man named Stingy Jack repeatedly trapped the devil and only let him go on condition that Jack would never go to hell. But when Jack died, he realized that he was not wanted in heaven, so he was forced to wander the earth as a ghost for eternity. The devil gave Jack a burning lump of coal in a carved-out turnip to light his path. Locals eventually began carving scary faces into their own turnips to frighten away evil spirits.


Bobbing for Apples

It is believed that bobbing for apples began as a courting ritual that took place during the Pomona festival where young men and women would be able to predict their future relationships based on the game.


Based on the information shared, it’s clear that Halloween has pagan origins. Pagans are people who observe polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshiping religions. The Most High hates idolatry. He also abhors the worship of His creation, as He should. Imagine if you created something and instead of you receiving the glory, the inanimate created thing receives all the glory. This level of disrespect is astounding. And this is something we and our ancestors have done since the beginning of time. The saddest part is that people will try to flip evil and make it into something good. Isaiah 5:20 speaks on how The Most High feels about this.



Many people speak out about Halloween and how it glorifies death, evil, witchcraft, and wickedness. But more people seek to find ways to justify the celebration. If you claim to worship and have a relationship with The Most High, why would you participate in a celebration that goes against who He is and what He loves?


Will you be counted in the ones who called evil good and good evil, or will you stand on the side of righteousness in a world where wickedness is desired more?


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