Quick Challenge Answer: Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? It seems every year Christians ask this question. Doesn’t the holiday have pagan roots? Are we promoting witchcraft and devil worship if we allow our kids to go trick-or-treating? Navigating this holiday can be tricky. We want to remain God honoring in our celebrations. But where is that line exactly?
Where Did Halloween Come From?
The Halloween we celebrate today is a uniquely Americanized version of several different holidays. It has its origins in the pagan celebration of Samhain. The Celtic holiday revolved around the idea that the veil between the living world and dead was at its thinnest at this time of year.
By 43 A.D., the Romans had conquered most of the Celtic territory. They added their own fall festival traditions into the mix, and incorporated their festival of Feralia commemorating the passing of the dead.
The Catholic Church began looking for Christian alternatives to these celebrations. By the year 1000 A.D., the All Souls Day festival took place on November 2nd. This was seen as a time for the living to pray for the dead. All Saints Day was designated as November 1st, making October 31st “All Hollow’s Eve”.
As The United States received waves of different immigrants, they each brought a piece of these traditions from their homelands, and eventually merged them into the holiday we celebrate today. And while there are definitely pagan roots to the holiday, it would be a stretch to say that Halloween as we observe it now is a religious holiday. So concerns about participating in a pagan ritual holiday are probably not warranted.
What Are You Celebrating?
As with any holiday, it’s WHAT you are celebrating that is key. Are you carving a pumpkin to release the spirits of your ancestors, or are you simply having as good time with your kids? Most of the people I know are not attaching any religious significance to the pagan aspects of Halloween. If you are, then that should be cause for concern if you are a Christian.
We do want to steer clear of anything that would promote or make look attractive any form of witchcraft, Satan worship or pagan worship. If you feel convicted that a certain aspect of Halloween celebrations fall into that category, then you are well within your rights to abstain. No one should take part in a celebration they are not comfortable with.
Finally, for those that do choose to participate, let’s remember that we ARE Christians. Give generously. If you’re going to give out tracts, give out candy too! Follow the Biblical commands to avoid drunkenness and conduct yourself in a manner that is Christ honoring. Enjoy this uniquely American holiday with your family!
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