Earlier this week there was a discussion on one of the local parenting groups on Facebook regarding when children are going out to Trick or Treat. I commented that if the children knocked on my door there would either be no answer or they would be turned away empty handed as we don’t celebrate Halloween. It was then followed with comments about which area has the best trick or treating in Bedford, I’ve seen it discussed on TV shows about which houses give out the best candy and things like that.
I decided not to respond further and walk away rather than cause issues, ultimately it’s their choice to celebrate. I didn’t think any more about it until I was driving home yesterday evening after dropping someone home following Connect Group. I got thinking about why do I not celebrate Halloween?
Growing up it was always a default, I mean I knew that we didn’t celebrate, we wouldn’t be going trick or treating and if anyone knocked at the door my parents would either ignore it or turn the people away empty handed. As a youth leader, I would help with alternate parties, for example Chill @ The Church back in 2008 (woah was it really that long ago!). I think I might have even attended a couple as a kid/teen myself.
The main question was “Why don’t I celebrate Halloween?”. Well me being a bit of a nerd went off to have a look at where Halloween originates from. So first up, a festival around this time of year reaches back all the way to ancient Irish and Scottish traditions. With the days getting darker earlier and the changing of the seasons following harvest, there was a lot of superstition associated with the time of year, including the belief that the spirits of the dead would wander the earth looking for bodies to inhabit. Since the living didn’t want to be possessed they would dress up in costume and try to frighten the spirits away. A bit later in history the festival was adopted by the Catholic Church and merged into a new set of festivals with an early version of what could have become Trick or Treat.
So should Christians celebrate Halloween, well most come down on the no side but there is an opinion that would imply that it’s okay within reason.
Let’s start with why we shouldn’t. In the first instance, it celebrates evil. Everyone celebrates differently but think about what you’re dressing up as – ghosts, vampires and witches etc. Sometimes it’s something harmless like a princess or ballerina but it’s still Halloween. It can be seen that Halloween is a celebration focused on reminds, devils, spirits etc therefore it’s best to steer clear.
Having said that it isn’t necessarily wrong to dress up in costume and go trick or treating. However personally I’d rather steer clear.
Now I do know of Christians who do celebrate Halloween and that’s their choice but our choice is not to celebrate.
Are you celebrating Halloween?