This post is from last October (can’t believe how little Aubri looks) but since I still get asked about Halloween & Trick or Treat all the time, I thought it would be worthwhile to do a re-post on this one. Enjoy.
I know I’m opening up a can of worms with this post but it’s been a while, so I suppose I am due 🙂 I have grown up in an area that is very divided on the issue of Halloween. Some Christians celebrate it, while others don’t. This post is not to change your mind, but rather to offer a brief history on the holiday in an attempt to show that what we do, or don’t do, should actually be uniting us rather than dividing us. I don’t have this whole thing figured out but hopefully my thoughts can help add to your conversation and thinking on this issue.
Now for some history…
The celebration of Halloween originated in Europe as a festival to celebrate the transition between the harvest and winter. Many of the traditions that became associated with this holiday predate Christianity and go back to the Celts. A pagan religious portion of the Celts, known as Druids, used this day to ward off evil spirits by starting large bonfires and performing rituals that sometimes included animal and human sacrifices. Bizarro to say the least 🙂
While many Christians seem to focus on this part of the holiday they fail to see two things. First, Christianity wasn’t even around yet therefore plenty of people were slightly odd with their expression of spirituality & secondly, not everyone celebrated the holiday this way. It was during the medieval period that much of the bizarre rituals, like sacrifices, began to wain (thank God!) It became a time of fun & fellowship which involved bonfires, food and sweet treats for those who dressed in costume; something that was thought to scare any lurking evil spirits away. It could be said that the more fun people were having, the farther away the evil spirits would stay. Not a bad concept if you think about it.
Now let’s look at the present…
Today, Halloween is still a time for fun & fellowship that still involves bonfires, food and sweet treats for all the trick-or-treaters who go door to door in costume . There is certainly still a focus on evil spirits for some but in a more comical nature than that of the Celts. As with anything, this holiday has evolved and the reasons most people used to fear this holiday are largely gone. Today, many churches offer Halloween alternatives that feature the same bonfires, food and treats you will find in most American neighborhoods so my question is, what are we arguing about? I don’t know anyone, Christian or otherwise, that will participate in an animal or human sacrifice tonight (thank God again!) but I know many who will enjoy the fire, food, costume & candy. If we’re all doing the same thing, what on earth are we so up tight about?
Whether you have a Kumbaya bonfire, or a scary story bonfire, many of us will still sit around a bonfire partaking of hotdogs and marshmallows. Whether you dress-up as Michael the Archangel, or Michael from The Office, many of us will still be in costume. Whether you pass out Testamints at your church (yeah, they’re real), or peppermints at your house, many of us will still enjoy candy, although some better than others 🙂 You see, in reality, many of us are observing Halloween in one way or another whether we admit it or not. Instead of thinking our way is so different than everybody else’s way, reflect on the past, look at the present and you’ll probably find you’re not as different as you think.
P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so feel free to comment. Also, Happy Halloween :)