Yup, HALLOWEEN! I am a Christian and I don’t have an issue with wishing someone Happy Halloween. (Ok, side note, every time I say “I am a Christian” I get the Sunday School song “I am a C, I am a C-H, I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N…” stuck in my head and I have to sing it all the way through at least once.)
Usually, it’s just because as a kid I had a blast dressing up, trick or treating and swapping candy with my siblings so I never really understood the Christian vs. Devil Worshiper debate. But, alas, the innocence of youth fell away and although I didn’t feel guilty saying Happy Halloween I started wondering if maybe I SHOULD. Seriously, all the churches around here have “Harvest Festivals” as the traditional “October-31st-costumes-and-candy-but-it’s-not-Halloween-really” alternative. Again, hadn’t really lost any sleep over this issue, I still wished people Happy Halloween and if there was an occasion that called for it I dressed up in some sort of costume (although I admit, I steered away from being a zombie, or devil, or ghost, etc.). But today an interesting post popped up on my Twitter Account from a Ken Jennings retweeted by R.L. Ripples pointing out that Halloween is a CHRISTIAN holiday, and Harvest Festival is the pagan one! Oh how I laughed.
I very briefly researched the issue using Liberty’s Online Library, and, indeed, although October 31st is indeed known for the “thin veil” that allows the dead to cross over and all that, the superstitious stuff was associated with the celebration of the Fall Harvest on October 31st. Halloween was a shortening of “All Hallow’s Eve” which is the night before the Catholic holiday “All Hallow’s Day” otherwise known as “All Saint’s Day” on Novemeber 1st. Now, yes, the celtic celebration of the end of the harvest and the beliefs that the dead roamed the earth on that night came first. So the Catholic “Halloween” may have been an attempt at pagan cover up, but what is amusing, to me, is that churches everywhere have sworn of Halloween (the Christian holiday) and instead celebrate Harvest Festivals (the pagan holiday) for fear of being associated with the celebration of spirits and the dead! Just a tad backwards if you ask me.
So, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Smith, N. (2011, Oct 31). Halloween history. Scholastic News, 80, 6-6,8,T2. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/901920252?accountid=12085