To say that I don't believe in Halloween is an under statement. I absolutely abhor this secular holiday. For the whole month of October my cable television runs rampant with every creepy show that they can dig up, big bags of candy practically invades the grocery store shelves and costumes ranging from cute to trampy to scary cost as much as a good handbag! I do not like this holiday and I fail to see how giving out a bunch of sugary "crack" to children that are already close to "OD'ing" is conducive to them and myself.
I was not always like this. I remember that my mom allowed us to dress up and go "begging" for candy when I was growing up. "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" was one of my favorite holiday specials to watch and as I got older, the haunted houses were frequented by me and my friends. As I became an adult and had children of my own, I even allowed them to dress up and go around the neighborhood "begging" for candy. Something changed. I went into the ministry. My mindset changed and I started to research the true meaning of the holidays that I celebrated. This is what I discovered from Wikipedia:
The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows'-Even ('evening'), that is, the night before All Hallows' Day. Although the phrase All Hallows' is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not seen until 1556.
Though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots. Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival ofSamhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end". Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic (Irish, Scottish and Manx) calendar. It was held on or about 31 October–1 November and kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall) and Kalan Goañv (in Brittany). Samhain is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literatureand many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the 'darker half' of the year. This was a time for stock-taking and preparing for the cold winter ahead; cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and livestock were slaughtered. In much of the Gaelic world, bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them. Some of these rituals hint that they may once have involved human sacrifice. Divinationgames or rituals were also done at Samhain.
Samhain (like Beltane) was seen as a time when the 'door' to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world. The souls of the dead were said to revisit their homes on Samhain. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Lewis Spence described it as a "feast of the dead" and "festival of the fairies". However, harmful spirits and fairies were also thought to be active at Samhain. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits/fairies, which is thought to have influenced today's Halloween customs. Before the 20th century, wearing costumes at Samhain was done in parts of Ireland, Mann, the Scottish Highlands and islands, andWales. Wearing costumes may have originated as a means of disguising oneself from these harmful spirits/fairies, although some suggest that the custom comes from a Christian or Christianized belief (see below). In Ireland, people went about before nightfall collecting for Samhain feasts and sometimes wore costumes while doing so. In the 19th century on Ireland's southern coast, a man dressed as a white mare would lead youths door-to-door collecting food; by giving them food, the household could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'. In Moray during the 18th century, boys called at each house in their village asking for fuel for the Samhain bonfire. Trick-or-treating may thus have come from the custom of going door-to-door collecting food for Samhain feasts, fuel for Samhain bonfires and/or Samhain offerings for the spirits and fairies. Alternatively, it may come from the Christian custom ofsouling (see below). Making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween may also have sprung from Samhain and Celtic beliefs. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were made on Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.As well as being used to light one's way while outside on Samhain night, they may also have been used to represent the spirits/fairies and/or to protect oneself and one's home from them.
So I got to thinking: Why would I celebrate the dead? Why do I need to ward off evil spirits? Isn't this awfully close to witchcraft and the occult? Do I conform myself to what is popular by the world's standard or, " Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
I choose the Word. Halloween at my house has been cancelled for a long time. I have a granddaughter now and her parents are more than likely going to dress her up as a cute little pumpkin or princess and take her "begging" for "sugary crack" on the 31st. I just know that when she gets to my house, I will slip a WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelet over her slender little wrist. As a matter of fact, I think I will go stock up on those WWJD bracelets and hand them out to any child that knocks on my door. Sorry kiddos, but Halloween Has Been Cancelled!