I know it’s the wrong time of year to ask this, but is it OK to let children particpate in Halloween? Some have told me that it is a pagan festival, but I’m still not sure.
Halloween was originally a pagan celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced SOW-in) that honored the oak king, and the harvest. Traditionally it was associated with thanksgiving for the harvest. human sacrifice was common. In order to lead these backward people out of their demonic practices, the Catholic church converted them and they kept the celebration as All Hallow’s Eve (the night before All Souls). This to remind them that God is the Lord of the Harvest. The traditional imagery of death fits well with the end of fall.
so anyways, i think that it is ok, assuming you don’t let them dress as ghosts and demons, and remind them that it is a celebration of God;s bounty, not of the dead. personal opinion, anyways.
Halloween (Oct 31) is the eve of All Saints Day (Nov 1), not All Souls Day (Nov 2).
And yes, it is okay for children (and adults) to celebrate halloween as long as this is not done in some manner inconsistent with Catholic faith and morals, lawful behavior, and good taste (with the understanding that some things that would be considered bad taste outside the context of halloween may not be within this context.)
Actually, it’s SOW-ain. Just wanted to add that.
If you are unsure about the whole Halloween thing, host a Saints party at your house and invite people over. Have them dress as their favorite Saint and give out Holy Cards.
Actually, there was no such god as the “oak king” in ancient Cetlic cultures - that comes from much later English folklore. The pagan god most associated with Samhain, at least in Ireland, was Lugh. In addition to being polytheistic, the pre-Christian Celts indulged in ancestor worship, and Samhain was their most important festival because it was honored ancestors - hence the latter-day association with ghosts and spooks. Samhain was also the Celtic new year.