In another "Why we do what we do series" articles, we will examine Halloween an why this day isn't as innocent as most of us believe.
Today's holiday known as Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture, and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year". Traditionally, the celebration was a time used by the ancient Celtic pagans to take inventory of supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, now known as Halloween, the boundary between the alive and the deceased dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness or damaged crops. The festivals would frequently involve bonfires, into which bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown. Costumes and masks were also worn at the festivals in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them. In pagan times often humans were burned in these bonfires along with cattle and other animals.
In the 1950's and 60's the day was mostly a children's fun day but over the past thirty years, Halloween has become a holiday that is not just for kids any more. Halloween has fast become the party holiday of adults and parents. It ranks number two behind Christmas in decorations and annual sales within the United States.
The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening", but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day",which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to 1st November. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day are now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar. Therefore, you Protestants out there following the holiday, you are following yet another Catholic holy day that was adopted from paganism and nothing found in the Bible. The same applies to Sunday replacing the Sabbath, by the way. It was the Catholic church, hundreds of years after the first New Testament Pentecost that changed the Saturday Sabbath to Sunday. Catholics have every right to worship on Sunday's, non-Catholics do not!
Unlike other paganized 'Christian' holidays, Halloween has no scriptural basis whatsoever! None, zero, Nada! It is a totally pagan day from start to finish that God condemns us to follow! Satan, the devil who is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9), is the author of all these days. Ironically, Satan wears the greatest costume of all, masquerading as an Angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Jeremiah 10:2 (King James Version) "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."
Scripture also records God’s command: "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone… who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:9–14). The Bible clearly forbids dabbling in witchcraft and the occult and idolatry, but the Israelites ignored these instructions. Israel incurred God’s wrath because its people "practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger" (2 Kings 17:17).
America, it is time to wake up. We cannot continue to disobey God and enjoy peace and freedom and prosperity. If we are true to obey God, God will be true to forgive our sins and to bless us before the world! Start reading your Bible! Learn what it is that your God wants you to know. The God who created you wants you to be their friends! Both the Father and the Son are God (John 1) and have invited us into their family!