Is Halloween evil?


#1

Driving back from the Chinese take-away this evening I saw a bunch of kids dressed up as witches and demons.

Halloween was never commemorated here in Australia when I was a kid - it’s a phenomena that seems to have only been with us for about the last 10 years (maybe less).

Isn’t it a evening of last hurrah for demons before All Saints and All Souls Days?


#2

Halloween is harmless fun that makes kids happy and gives them good memories of childhood.


#3

Halloween comes from the phrase “All Hallows Eve”

Like all good things, satan turns this bad as well.

He has caused man to look upon something good with disdain…just as he has caused man to look upon the sacraments with disdain…

Is it any coincidence that this is also the birth of the reformation?


#4

How’s it harmless for kids to model themselves on demons - who if you don’t ‘reward’ them, can pay you back.

It’s like having them dress up in little Mafia suits and ask people for protection - from them


#5

I don’t like this as well. My kids dress up as saints when we walk around.


#6

So don’t let your kids dress up as “demons”. In my experience, that’s not a very common costume among kids, who prefer dressing as monsters or creatures or superheros or movie characters and so on.

Surely you aren’t lumping ogres and orcs and elves and goblins in with the “demons”, are you? There’s a wide gulf between Shrek and Mephistopheles.

Peace,
Dante


#7

That’s not how it works. Nobody ever refuses to give kids a bit of candy. If the adults don’t want to participate they simply leave the porch lights off and the kids don’t go to that house. The houses which do want to participate put the lights on and welcome the kids (I know I do - it’s a lot of innocent fun for the adults greeting the kids as well, and a chance to make a bunch of excited kids happy for a night).

I don’t know how things were done 100 years ago, but I know there is no “reward me or else” in Halloween today.


#8

Trick-or-treating comes from the practice of a-souling. Needy kids and probably adults would would go from house to house offering a promise of prayers on the upcoming All Souls Day in exchange for food items.

Dressing up came from the superstion that ghosts and demons walked the earth on the Eve of All Hallows and a disguise would fool the other worldly. I guess people had a very low opinion of the ghosts’ perceptive ability… Uh sir, your flesh is showing :smiley:

Being around the pagan harvest festivals and an effort to Christianize Pagan rituals caused some cross over in some of the look and feel of the day.

Now it is a mostly secular celebration, but each camp seems to claim its own part. I once had a pagan “friend”… a spell casting pagan friend… who turned out not to be a friend:eek: :rolleyes: tell me “Ah this is my holiday.” Hmm the eve of the catholic feast of all saints, that doesn’t jive too well with me.


#9

***The Origins of Halloween

The All American Holiday (From the tract by Grotto Press***)

The Date.

Pope Gregory III (d 741) moved All saints Day from May 13th to November 1st to coincide with the dedication of a new cathedral. Of course the evening vigil was celebrated on October 31st hence All Hallows Eve or Hallowe’en.

The Dead

In 997 St. Odillo of Cluny, S. France, added a feast of All Souls. (faithful departed in heaven and purgatory) However, the Irish wondered about those in hell. They thought that the damned might cause trouble if they weren’t remembered. So, at least in Ireland, ALL the dead were remembered even though “All Damned Day” was never allowed in the church calendar.

The Costumes

In the 14th and 15th centuries the French started “The Dance Macabre” which was an artistic reminder of their own mortality at a time when the Bubonic Plague was sweeping their country. (Europe lost half her population.) To do this dance, held on All Soul’s day, November 2nd, they dressed up in ghoulish costumes. In North America in the 1700s, the French and Irish settlers began to intermarry thus the two costumes were blended.

Trick or Treat

During the 1500s through the 1700s in Protestant Englan, Catholics were persecuted and many martyred. (It was a capitol offense for a priest to say Mass.)

One of their attempted uprisings against their oppressors backfired when Guy Fawkes, the man guarding the gunpowder, meant to blow up King James I, was captured and hanged.

So November 5th became a great celebration for the Protestants in England (to this day). During that period, bands of revelers would visit catholics in the dead of night, dressed up in masks, demanding beer and cakes for their celebration. Thus “trick or treat”.
**
Witches and Jack-O-Lanterns**

In the late 1800s the greeting card industry tried introducing “The Halloween Card” and since Halloween was already creepy, why not add witches? Also in the 1800s, ill-informed folklorists thought that Halloween was druidic and pagan in origin. Since pagans had used lamps made of turnips (not pumpkins) in their harvest festival, these were added too.

Conclusion

So enjoy being an American, have fun at Halloween but remember its origins; it was a time to remember saints and loved ones, faithful souls who died. Obviously as Christians we stand against witchcraft (“There shall not be found among you any one who…practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD .” Deuteronomy 18:10-12) but we can still have wholesome fun and yet teach our children the real meaning of Halloween.


#10

Halloween is one of my favorite Holy Days outside of the Easter Triduum, and it’s precisely because of the “Danse Macabre” element meeting the Feast of All Saints; basically combining Ash Wednesday with ALL the Saints Feastdays rolled into one.

Think of it this way: we as Catholics accept death as it’s been renewed by Christ. The “Danse Macabre” is simply a reminder about the final test we must pass before being reunited with Christ, and dressing up and remembering death can help us to be humbled by our own mortality. Connecting this with the Saints reminds us that death is precisely the price they paid for their Sanctification, many of them even being martyrs in the strict sense!

It’s not an excuse to act “devilish”, but to meditate on the reality and mystery of death, and to relate it to its Sacred element with the Saints who have gone before us. It’s hard to think of a more Catholic holiday outside of Easter, which captures the same elements in a totally Christ-centered way. If the Crucifixion and the Resurrection are Christ specific and celebrated on the Easter Triduum, then Halloween is the celebration of OUR unique participation in that event. :thumbsup:

Peace and God bless!


#11

Hello,

A Romanian Byzantine Priest was commenting on how as Christians we should not celebrate the demon’s holiday. Someone asked, well what about all the little kids who dress as a princess or something like that. And he replied that satan wants you to think he’s cute and cuddly and innocent - that is how he gets you.

For me, this All Hallow’s Eve, I will be going to the local Dominican Church and partaking of the Holy Mysteries on the vigil for the Solemnity of All Saint’s Day.

Don’t celebrate the demon’s holiday!


#12

#13

If anything, the way Halloween is observed today I would call it mocking the demon’s holiday. Let’s face it, what happens on Halloween looks nothing like a religious celebration.


#14

Yeah… Satan is sitting in hell plotting on how to get as many mini-Snickers bars as he can…

If you don’t want to celebrate it, don’t.
Have a Saint party if you want to do something with your kids. Since everyone else is doing stuff. Otherwise, leave your light off and pretend it’s any other night.


#15

And he’s annoyed because mostly he just gets candy corn which has coagulated into a sticky lump in the bottom of the bag, and he hates that.


#16

Hence why I give out full size Hershey bars.
And it’s never the good candy corn, anyway.


#17

Hello,

I find nothing positively religious about the modern secular celebration of Halloween. What was once a Christian celebration has been distorted and morphed into a pagan festival.


#18

What was a pagan festival was morphed into a pagan holiday that was successfully secularized like everything else (Easter, Christmas)


#19

Hello,

:confused: Christmas and Easter are Christian holidays (holy-days in the pure sense).


#20

Christmas is the longest night of the year, traditionally the relighting of the fires occurred on the winter solstice, signaling the return of the sun, which turned into the Birth of the Son.

Easter was a fertility festival called Ostara, that included the symbols of bunnies, eggs and other very virile fertile critters.

I am fantastically Orthodoxly Catholic, but the histories of our holidays have pagan roots :shrug:


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