>Why I Celebrate Halloween (and You Can Keep Your “Harvest Festival”)

Posted: 22/10/2009 in halloween

>It’s October and that means Halloween, my favorite secular holiday. I will being having a great amount of fun this year, as I do always. However there are often a lot of Christians that have serious moral hang-ups with the alleged worship of evil and pagan aspects of Halloween. The alternative, for much of evangelicalism, is to have a “harvest festival” at Church instead.

I submit though, that the concerns about the evil of Halloween are exaggerated and misplaced. Furthermore, if there is a need to “Christianize” Oct 31sth, than I think we can do better than a change in nomenclature to harvest festival. I will deal with the misplaced fears first, and the alternatives in a subsequent blog.

The general anti-halloween sentiments are well summed up here:

The October 31st holiday that we today know as Halloween has strong roots in paganism and is closely connected with worship of the Enemy of this world, Satan. It is a holiday that generally glorifies the dark things of this world, rather than the light of Jesus Christ, The Truth.

Have you noticed how costumes and masks are getting generally more bloody, gory, and depraved each year? Unfortunately, the gruesome and grotesque and the occult are increasingly glorified in American society, not only on Halloween, but throughout the year in horror movies and in television programs.*

Those of you who actually worship Satan on Halloween, please comment on this blog. I ask, because I have never met any of you yet. Clearly, many Christians have because I keep hearing this rhetoric from both pulpits and message boards every October. I am of course, being sarcastic here. I really think that Christians make up the majority of people labeling Halloween a worship of evil, whereas the broader secular culture, which is busy celebrating it, knows of no such thing. For the majority of society, Halloween is an excuse to dress up and have some kind of celebration with no religious or spiritual aspects whatsoever.

For instance, when I was young, it was an excuse to go the grandparent’s of my neighbors and have a costume party out in the orchard. In College, it was an excuse to goof –off with the other undergraduates of my living complex. We would get creative with costumes (my friend once dressed up as an iPod). Now, it is a regular excuse to come up with fun outfits for my webcomic characters to wear each year.

Worship of evil? Quite clearly so!

But someone may persist (if they were not put off by my sarcasm) that Halloween does indeed have Pagan roots. It was, in fact, the Celtic new year and the suppression of evil spirits that roamed the earth on that night. This is true, but I still do not think that it justifies the general condemnation that many Christians have about Halloween. I have one simple reason: most people who celebrate Halloween are completely ignorant of these things. Most kids dressing up as ghosts, ninjas, faerie princesses etc have no knowledge of its roots and neither do their parents. The idea of the broader culture actually celebrating the “true meaning” of Halloween is so absurd that it was lampooned by the Onion News Network last year. Those true blue pagans who do, are an incredible minority.

There are many Christians, who still insist on a Christian alternative. While this might be a nice move, I think the Harvest Festival fails to hit the mark. But that is for the next blog.

For now, I will announce my plans. This year, I will be by an house full of 20-somethings and dressed up as either a Captain Hammer or a Mormon missionary. There will be much revelry and some liquor, like most years. I will likely be singing songs from Dr. Horrible and the Nightmare Before Christmas. Various other party games will ensue. It will be a joyous occasion shared with friends dear to me.

And this year, I preside over the goat sacrifice.

Thanks for reading.

  1. James says:

    >Since I will be celebrating Halloween in Salem, Ma this year, I feel that I have a right to say the following based on a few interactions with actual pagans: Halloween is no longer about what it once was.Likewise, neither is Christmas. Either 1) Christmas is about Jesus and Halloween is about Satan and Christians should stop whining about the commercialization of christmas, or 2) Just like christmas, Halloween has been commercialized and is no longer about Satan and the occult and is safe to celebrate. I don't care which one Christians stop whining about, but you have to pick one.

  2. Q says:

    >Pagan holiday? What all about All Hallow's Eve (hence Halloween), which led into All Saint's Day? I always thought Halloween was the most Christian of all the holidays, especially more than Easter and Christmas since they are both born out of actual pagan holidays.

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