God's Roadmap

Sharing God's roadmap of grace to avoid the pitfalls and potholes of life.

"Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 3:3).


Sunday, October 25, 2015

What is hallowed about Halloween?

by Barbara Latta

Families can offer alternatives to Halloween
Millions of children will be prancing about in costumes on October 31 for some fun, laughter, and treats. To them this is a day for dressing up and enjoying a sugar high unlike any other day of the year. The origins of Halloween are rarely thought of as families venture out for trick-or-treat, but in reality this day is a celebration of death and evil.

Those words are not welcomed by most because pondering the holiday puts a halt to the fun. I have often wondered why people want to decorate their home with bats, witches, devils, vampires, and werewolves. What is fun about being terrified and giving glory to evil?

Druids
Over 2,000 years ago the Celtics celebrated a day called Samhain (pronounced sow-in) at the end of the summer when the fall harvest began. They thought ghosts roamed the earth to cause mischief and bring harm to the crops. The Druids (Celtic priests) would build fires and wear masks to ward off evil. People would also wear masks in an attempt to fool an evil spirit into thinking they were one of the ghosts and the mask wearers would remain unharmed. The Celts would leave food outside their doors to prevent evil spirits from entering. Thus treats to prevent being tricked.

In the 7th century, the Pope recognized all Christian martyrs by setting aside a day known as All Saints Day. This was celebrated on November 1. Therefore, October 31 became the hallowed eve of All Saints Day and evolved into Halloween.

All Saints Day honors Christian martyrs
Over the centuries customs from various countries have become intertwined with different traditions.  Even though all costumes are not scary, Halloween is still associated with death and evil. For this reason a lot of churches organize fall festivals to correspond with October 31 to provide an alternative for children to dress up, get candy and have parties.

When our children were small we made this choice because we didn’t want to celebrate a holiday associated with death and evil. It seems the public got “tricked” into believing emulating evil is harmless.

We can still have fun and let children dress up and gobble up bags of candy without giving glory to evil forces. We can leave the ghosts and witches behind and celebrate God’s goodness that He is Lord over all evil. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

That’s something to shout about!

Share your thoughts about how Halloween is portrayed in your community.


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