• I. L. Tanis

Halloween... What Is It Really?

Halloween.


Many people celebrate this day, including some Christians. They think there’s nothing wrong with it. But they usually don't know what is behind this so-called harmless holiday, either because they really don't know, or they don't want to.


I know, some because I have researched it. It actually makes me feel sick when I hear people talk about dressing up for Halloween and trick and treating, decorating, even carving pumpkins.


Every store draping skeletons and spiders and webs and ghosts and witches and selling skulls and fake tombstones makes me want to weep. The decorations in someone’s yard make me shudder. I want to run and tell them what they’re really celebrating, but I also want to run the other way. This may seem extreme to you, and maybe it is, but I’m being honest with you, and they’re real emotions and reactions.


I was raised in a Bible-believing home, where we did not do anything related to Halloween, not even harvest parties, which my parents considered a substitute, which is no better.


When I was about five years old or so, I remember I asked why we didn't do Halloween. I was told it was evil. When I asked how, I was told it’s demonic, and people celebrate ghosts and demons and witches.


That made no sense to my little mind! Why would people worship demons? The enemies of God?


Well, how do you explain such things to a young child with an extremely inquisitive mind?


You can’t really, not in a way that will stop the why and how questions.


I had to wait until I was older to be told more. I believe my parents were wise in waiting to explain it in more detail to me. I think they gave me enough information for my age, telling me a little more the older I got. Once I became a teenager, I did some research, but not much, because I was uncomfortable. As I spent some time in prayer over continuing my research, I felt I wasn’t mature or ready to do more. That was a few years back.


This year off and on, I did more, and it was only after a lot of prayer and reading the scriptures to keep my mind from going too far into what I am discovering, that I felt ready to continue looking into this.


To those of you who celebrate Halloween and are reading this, please know I don’t believe myself to be above anyone. I mess up every day, every hour. I’m a sinner and although I am saved by the grace of God, I’m not perfect.


I want to let you know that I have no intention of demeaning anyone for their personal choice to celebrate Halloween. Just because I disagree with someone’s choice or beliefs does not mean I cannot respect them as fellow human beings. I truly believe God has made all people equal, each with a free will, and I hope that you see that I share this post out of love and concern for others, not be ‘I told you so!’


My sincere desire is to reveal some of the roots of this holiday so that you can be informed on something that many people probably don’t know.



What is behind it?


Just recently I was watching a video by someone who was into witchcraft and such darkness, but who is now saved by the grace of God. If you’re interested, the link is here. She doesn't go into a lot of detail, but this lady, Beth, briefly explains some of the things done by Satanists and other cults on Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. (I do not make a habit of watching any videos like this for the reason it's not beneficial, and I don't believe it is neccessary to fill my head with such things.)


I will tell you now, Halloween is not just an evening of dressing up and eating candy.


Halloween, Easter, and Christmas all have origin in paganism, and have different names from the evil cults who celebrate them, often with sacrifices and rituals. I won’t get into the other holidays here, but I may do posts on Christmas and Easter in the future.


The first thing that came up when I put in a google search for “history of Halloween” was this;



“The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. ... Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween.”


I next searched Samhain and this is what I found in a Wikipedia article;



“The festival did not begin to be recorded in detail until the early modern era. It was when cattle were brought down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered. As at Beltane, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers, and there were rituals involving them. Like Beltane, Samhain was a liminal or threshold festival, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld thinned, meaning the Aos Sí (the 'spirits' or 'fairies') could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of pagan gods. At Samhain, they were appeased with offerings of food and drink, to ensure the people and their livestock survived the winter. The souls of dead kin were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality, and a place was set at the table for them during a Samhain meal. Mumming and guising were part of the festival from at least the early modern era, whereby people went door-to-door in costume reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination was also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples. In the late 19th century, John Rhys and James Frazer suggested it was the "Celtic New Year", but this is disputed.
In the 9th century, the Church had shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls' Day. Over time, it is believed that Samhain and All Saints'/All Souls' influenced each other, and eventually syncretised into the modern Halloween. Folklorists have used the name 'Samhain' to refer to Gaelic 'Halloween' customs up until the 19th century.
Since the later 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Samhain, or something based on it, as a religious holiday.” (1)

More research on a different site makes the history behind pagan holidays like Halloween and even Easter much clearer:


“Halloween's roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their "Druid" religion, November 1st was New Years' on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st ,and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night.
This is an evil night when spirits roamed the streets and villages. Lord Samhain, the lord of Darkness, would arrive in search of the spirits to take them to the underworld.
Halloween as it is currently celebrated with costumes, trick or treat, and superstitions, takes from this Druid Holiday.
Halloween was called Hallow E'en in Ireland. Halloween evolved from "All Hollows" Eve. It originated from the pagan holiday honoring the dead. On All Hallows Eve, the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead was thin. It allowed the souls of the dead to come back to earth and walk among the living. People would leave out food and candies for the dead, in the hope that the evil spirits would leave them alone. They would also carve out turnips and rutabagas, and place embers in them to ward off the evil spirits. This glowing predecessor to the pumpkin Jack O'Lantern, would keep the souls of the dead away. More on carving turnips.
The Roman Catholic Church created All Saints Day (also called Hallomas) on November 1st to honor Saints and All Souls Day on November 2 and to honor and pray for the souls of the dead. These holidays were created by the church, in part to downplay the pagan holidays of Hallow E'en. Needless to say, it did not succeed. Halloween as we know it today, has grown from the ancient Druid Holiday. Along the way both fun, frights, and Satanic twists have been added to the mix.” (2)

For me it raises the question; why do we as Christians celebrate it? It’s about demonic rituals and people interacting with the spiritual world.


I have not been going deep into research on this subject, because I don’t want to make myself stumble by dwelling on this. As it is, I find I think too much on such things. I am someone who once I learn a little, I want to know everything about it, down to the last little rabbit trail.


But I also know it’s not necessary or healthy to go into all the specifics with such things, because we are told by God in the Scriptures to dwell on things that will help us grow in our walk, not drag us down;


“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8


While it is good to be informed, it’s not good to continue thinking about such things for too long or too deeply.


If you’re interested in doing more research for yourself, there is a lot out there, and you’ll have no problem finding it. I have only given you a brief post, but I hope and pray that this was informational and helpful.


Until next time,


Iris







References:


1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain

2: https://www.holidayinsights.com/halloween/facts.htm



Sources:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain

https://www.holidayinsights.com/halloween/facts.htm

https://www.businessinsider.com/history-of-halloween-2017-10


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