Halloween is not just a time for cornstalks, pumpkins, apples and cute costumes. There is much, much more. Before deciding to celebrate or not celebrate any holiday, it is important to understand the history of that holiday.
Halloween’s roots come from the ancient Celts, a tribe living on the British isles in northern France from 200 B.C. to about 200 A.D. They were first described as a fierce, warlike, terrifying people many of which would have strings of human heads tied on their bridles. Halloween was their main holiday, called Samhain. A festival that honored Samhain, the Celtic lord of death. The celebration marked the beginning of the season of cold, darkness, and decay. The Celtics related this with human death; they believed the Samhain allowed souls of the dead to return to their earthly homes for that evening. On the evening of the festival, the Druids, the priest and teachers of the Celts, ordered the people to put out their hearth fires. The Druids built a huge new years bonfire of oak branches, which they considered sacrificed. They burned animals, crops, and even human beings as sacrifices. Then each family re-lights their hearth fire from the new years fire. The lighted Jack-O-Lanterns used today are symbols of fires and torches. During the celebration people wore costumes made of animal heads and skins. They told fortunes by examining the remains of the sacrifices.
These pagan Celts believed that evil spirits lurked about as the sun god grew pale and the Samhain grew stronger. The Celts believed the evil spirits would come to your house and you treat them or they would trick you.
The Romans conquered the Celts in A.D. 43 and ruled what is now Great Britain for about 400 years. During this period, two Roman autumn festivals were combined with the Celtic festival of Samhain. Both pagan rituals, one of them, called Feraila, was held in late October to honor the dead. The other festival honored Pomona, the Roman Goddess of fruit and trees. Apples became associated with Halloween because of this festival.
Regional Halloween customs developed among various groups of Celts. In Ireland, for example, people begged for food in a parade that honored Muck Olla, their sun god. The leader of the parade wore a white robe and the head of an animal. In England, families say by the fire and told stories while they ate treats such as apples and nuts.
In the United States, many early American settlers brought with them various customs such as the above. However, because of Christianity among so many of the settlers, Halloween celebrations were not celebrated until the 1800s when several immigrants from Ireland and Scotland introduced their Halloween customs.
All Saints Day, a day the seventh century church set aside for memory of early Christians who died for their beliefs, was first celebrated in the month of May. By the year 900 the date was combined with the pagan rituals to be celebrated November 1. Another name for All Saints Day was All Hallows. October 31 was known as All Hallows Eve which was shortened to Halloween. The church made a grave mistake trying to combine pagan worship with Christianity. This is not scriptural! Because of that unwise decision, Halloween remains a holiday in America today.
Scriptures ward us that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the third and fourth generations. “You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” Exodus 20:5
Those who disregard God’s warning and make contact with occult spirits risk terrible repercussions in the form of misery, sickness, insanity and even early death.
Why do people living in this age, especially Christians, desire to be a part of any pagan worship? This pagan belief, even celebrated by Christian churches, celebrates the union of god and goddess in the universe that supposedly control the seasons, bring fertility to crops and animals, and bestow magical powers on their followers.
Halloween is not just a time for cornstalks, pumpkins, apples and cute costumes. Witches have eight special holidays during the year. Halloween is their day above all days. Witchcraft is not child’s play. It is an abomination to the Lord. Johanna Michaleson, former occultist and author of The Beautiful Side of Evil said, “For a true Christian to participate in the ancient trappings of Halloween is as incongruous as for a committed Satanist coming from blood sacrifices on Christmas Eve to set up a nativity scene in his living room singing Silent Night, Holy Night with sincere devotion to baby Jesus!”
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God. Our Lord Jesus would not go to a party to honor the feast of the Samhain. Moses did not come down from Mount Sinai and combine the Israelites Passover holiday with the idol worship that was going on.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you."
The verse says, “come out from among them says, the Lord.” Does that mean come out from among them--but don’t deprive your children from all that fun and candy -- celebrate the same pagan ritual in your church building? The Bible is very clear about Christians being involved in such celebrations. Ephesians 5:8-11 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
One thing Halloween should not be for the Christian is a time of fear. It should be a time to rejoice in the fact that “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. This is a time of spiritual warfare. October 31 should be spent in prayer for the community and children; a time of worship by singing praise to the Lord. This can be a good time to teach our children to sacrifice by not sharing in the rituals because you love the Lord. Whatever your family decides to do on this day, ask yourself, “Does it glorify the Lord?”
“…they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons."