…GETTING DOWN TO THE FACTS….

halloween-humor-3

IS HALLOWEEN AN EVIL THING…?

If a child dresses up at ANY OTHER TIME OF THE YEAR…be it for a birthday theme party, or a simple day out in the park of fun and imagination NO ONE complains or says “that is evil”… no one denounces their little daughter for dressing up as a fairy princess and playing ‘queen’…nor does someone scream and thump a bible when a young boy dresses up as a “superhero” for a birthday bash or because he pretends for a day he is saving the world…yet on October 31st EVERYONE has an opinion on the “evils” of this particular day

So WHY THIS PARTICULAR DAY is it considered evil???

Well, let’s look at the HISTORY, THE FACTS, and then it is up to YOU to decide…

Some historians trace the origin of Halloween back to the Celtic people of pre-medieval Europe. The Celts of Ireland, Britain, and France divided their year into halves: the “light half,” roughly consisting of the spring and summer months when days are longer and nights are shorter, and the “dark half,” roughly consisting of the autumn and winter months when days are shorter and nights are longer.

Celts celebrated the end of the light half of the year with the festival of “Samhain” (pronounced sah-wen), which they observed during the October/November lunar cycle.

Following the Roman conquest of Britain, British Celts adopted the Julian calendar and fixed the date of Samhain’s observance to November 1.

Costumes and treats were a traditional part of the Celtic celebration. And while Samhain began as a strictly Celtic festival, it is probable that aspects of Roman religion were incorporated into its observance over the four centuries of Roman rule in Britain (43-410 AD).

For example, Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruit trees and gardens. Her symbol was an apple. Some scholars believe this may explain how candied apples and bobbing for apples became associated with Halloween..

The Origin of Halloween: From Pagan to Christian:
Other historians trace the origin of Halloween back to the ancient and enduring Christian tradition of celebrating the lives of Christian martyrs on the anniversaries of their deaths.

When Pope Boniface IV reconsecrated the Pantheon in Rome on May 13, 609 AD, renaming it the “Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs,” he established that anniversary as a day of celebratory remembrance for all of the Church’s martyrs.

Pope Gregory III later changed the date of remembrance to November 1 when he dedicated a chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica to “all saints.” November 1 became All Saints Day, otherwise known as All Hallow’s Day.

The night before became All Hallow’s Eve (“Halloween” being a colloquial contraction of that phrase). While Halloween began as a localized celebration, Pope Gregory IV extended its observance to all of Christendom in the 9th Century AD.

The Origin of Halloween: From Sacred to Secular, from Secular to Pagan.:
The origin of Halloween as a secular celebration in many parts of the world goes back to Europe’s rich Christian heritage.

European empires conquered most of the world in the centuries following the Age of Exploration, allowing them to export their Christian faith and festivals to the rest of the world.

With the Enlightenment of the 18th Century, secularism took root in Europe and spread to her colonies abroad. Christian holidays like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween were secularized in many parts of the world.

The celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection was supplanted in the popular culture by the Easter bunny. Trick-or-treating eclipsed pious regard for Christian martyrs.

When Christianity spread to parts of Europe, instead of trying to abolish these pagan customs, people tried to introduce ideas which reflected a more Christian world-view. Halloween has since become a confusing mixture of traditions and practices from pagan cultures and Christian tradition.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. During their rule of the Celtic lands, Roman festivals were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The Romans observed the holiday of Feralia, intended to give rest and peace to the departed. Participants made sacrifices in honor of the dead, offered up prayers for them, and made oblations to them. Another festival was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees.

As the influence of Christianity spread into Celtic lands, in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV introduced All Saints’ Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs, to replace the pagan festival of the dead. It was observed on May 13. In 834, Gregory III moved All Saint’s Day from May 13 to Nov. 1 and for Christians, this became an opportunity for remembering before God all the saints who had died and all the dead in the Christian community.

Oct. 31 thus became All Hallows’ Eve (‘hallow’ means ‘saint’).

Sadly, though, many of the customs survived and were blended in with Christianity. Numerous folk customs connected with the pagan observances for the dead have survived to the present.

In 1517, a monk named Martin Luther honored the faithful saints of the past by choosing All Saints Day (November 1) as the day to publicly charge the Church heirarchy with abandoning biblical faith.

This became known as “Reformation Day,” a fitting celebration of the restoration the same biblical faith held by the saints throughout church history.

CONCLUSION:

Knowing the origin of the tradition is important. Knowing God’s word on the subject is more important.

The question of to celebrate or not comes down to personal beliefs and conviction.

Now, some will say “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” -1 Peter 5:8 

But I prefer a bit more PRAGMATIC approach…as Saint ‘Padre’ Pio once said “Be glad the devil is like a ‘Lion roaring after your soul’…it means he has not gotten it yet”

Should a Christian celebrate this holiday? Will “The devil get into your soul” if you do?

I believe that ‘The Devil’ cannot come into something unbidden…only if you are weak in faith can he take over what is not rightfully his (or YOUR’S, for that matter)

If you see it as a simple time of frolic and fun, then so be it…but if you see it as something sinister and evil, perhaps you need to consider the world..what is around us..for what I see is more sinister and evil than a child (or ADULT) stepping out ONE NIGHT out of the year in a costume to have fun.

IS this day an “evil celebration of a Pagan festival”? Or is it a “Celebration of Holy Martyrs and Saints”?

Therein lay the crux…it is up to YOU, what YOU see…is your faith strong enough to see it as a simple fun day of child-like frolic? Or do you see it as a target of attack,thumping a bible and screaming at others for their “weakness in faith and promotion of the devil in their lives” and denounce publicly others who would celebrate it..

Think about it…

(By the way: MY OPINION does not matter…for it is just that: MY OPINION..and I will not force MY opinion on ANOTHER PERSON’S CONSCIENCE)

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