Today, or tonight rather, is Halloween. Kids and Adults around the country are getting their best costumes, going to frightening things for fun, and traveling around their neighborhoods asking for candy from complete strangers. If you are a history buff like me you probably have heard different stories surrounding this holiday. When I was little, I was told by a friend it was from orphans going around begging for food. My dad told me it was a Scottish ritualistic thing. Others have called it All Hallows’ Eve from All Saints Day. So which is it? Well, I’d like you to join me on a somewhat brief breakdown of this holiday.
When looking at the witch convents around our nation, yes there is such a thing, I noticed they don’t celebrate Halloween but Samhain. Samhain was a traditional Gaelic celebration occurring on October 31st to communicate with the spiritual realm. Their beliefs mentioned that the separation between both spiritual and physical realms thinned on this night. On this night they would build altars with items symbolizing the harvest and winter, which symbolized death, or the spirits of the dead. Look at the items and see if you recognize any…
- apples, pumpkins, skeletons, skulls, and bread for visiting spirits
This pagan holiday was celebrated in full swing until the Irish Catholics came. They brought with them All Saints’ Day and incorporated it into the already-established festival. This became Halloween. But what is All Saints’ Day? I’m glad you asked. If All Saints’ Day is November 1, how did it become Halloween? Well, they wanted to make an All Hallows’ Eve, like Christmas Eve mind you. This holiday was started by the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church when he dedicated the Pantheon (the building for all Roman gods) to all the saints, specifically the Virgin Mary, and not to God. It is now celebrated in order to show honor to all the saints who are recognized in the canon of the Catholic Church. This day is also to honor all the relics of these saints. November 2 is All Souls’ Day. This is to recognize those who have died and not yet reached heaven.
I will refrain from adding any insight into this strange dedication of the Catholic Church. However, I will mention one thing. Both dedications are to the dead. We are told in the Bible to not give honor to the dead since they are mere dust. Instead, give your honor to God. This practice of dedicating honor to specific saints only is even fishier to me. Nonetheless, I will leave it to your own curiosity. One final word before letting you do whatever you have planned for. Answer this question… Are we as Christians supposed to honor the dead? If not, why do we participate in such a dark and pagan celebration? Think about that tonight and look for my next post coming soon this week.