“But dad, wearing a scary costume is not that bad. It’s really just for fun.”
This might be a familiar comment a child might make to a parent. Is Halloween really that bad? What is the fuss all about? All we want is just have some fun.
Let’s travel back through time and check out how it all started.
The origin of Halloween dates back to the Celtic Festival of Samhain, lord of death and evil spirits. Long before Christ (at least 2000 years), druids in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany and other Celtic countries observed the end of summer by making sacrifices to Samhain. The Celts considered November 1st as being the day of death because the leaves were falling, it was getting darker sooner and temperatures were dropping. These spirits had been confined to inhabit animals’ bodies for the past year, as punishment for their evil deeds. They were allowed to return to their former home to visit the living on the eve (Oct. 31) of the Feast of Samhain. Druid priests led the people in diabolical worship ceremonies in which horses, cats, black sheep, oxen, human beings and other offerings were rounded up, stuffed into wicker cages and burned to death. This was done to appease Samhain and keep spirits from harming them.
How were these sacrifices obtained? Druid priests and people would go from house to house asking for fatted calves, black sheep, and human beings. Those who gave were promised prosperity and those who refused to give were cursed and threatened. In addition, it was likely that all of the “wandering spirits” would get hungry. If you set out a treat for them, they would not trick or curse you. Hence we have THE ORIGIN OF TRICK OR TREAT. Trick or Treat is really a reenactment of the Druidic practices.
What does the Bible say about all these?
In Leviticus 19:31, we are told not to be involved with witchcraft and sorcery.
In Deuteronomy 18:9-10, the Bible says, “Let no one be found among you … who practices divination or sorcery, …engages in witchcraft,or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.”
Halloween has everything to do with fear and death. But the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Fear is not from God because “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
Other facts about Halloween:
- Jack O Lanterns -started out as carved images of spirit-beings. Originally, a light was put into a turnip or potato which had an ugly face carved into it. One purpose of the jack-o’-lanterns was to frighten the spirits who were thought to invade the earth on Halloween night into going back to the world of the dead.
- Scary costumes-The Celts hid themselves in ghoulish disguises at Halloween so that wandering spirits would mistake them for one of their own and pass by without incident. Masked villagers representing the souls of the dead also attempted to trick the spirits by forming a Parade and leading them to the town limits.
- Skeletons, skulls, and corpses-these naturally belong to Halloween as a festival celebrating death.
- Bonfires-a look at the dictionary will reveal that the origin of this work is “bone-fire”-referring to large fires containing bones. Why bonfires? To help the sun “survive” the winter; to frighten off evil spirits; used for animals, and possibly human sacrifices.
People have 3 possible reactions:
One can totally reject everything that has to do with Halloween – from the candies to costumes and everything in between.
Many just blindly get into certain parties and even practices without knowing what this event all entails.
Others make a decision to redeem this event. Some churches have done HARVEST Festivals and HALLELUJAH Sundays to redeem (not just try to replace Halloween) so that it can be used for the glory of God. All truth is God’s truth.
But whatever decision we make for our family, I encourage all parents to pray and ask God what He would want us to do and prayerfully consider every action we take with its concurrent consequences.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)