Halloween is a wonderful time of year where kids excitedly dress up in costumes and walk door-to-door with the goal of getting as much as candy as possible. Also, this is the time of the year where horror movies become more commonplace. In sum, this is a time of a lot a fun.

trick-or-treat-nyc

However, some have said that Halloween has pagan roots and that Christians shouldn’t celebrate it. Is this true? Let’s find out. I’ll begin by discussing a brief history of Halloween, then concluding with whether or not a Christian should celebrate it with Biblical support.

So, where did Halloween come from?

The origins of Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic people of Europe and Britain. They were pagan Druids, who lived around the time of Jesus. On Oct. 31st, they celebrated the end of summer with the festival of Samhain. Life would slow down as winter was thought to bring darkness since the days were shorter and the nights were longer. This time of the year caused many to get superstitious.

Some believed the invisible “gates” between the natural world and the spirit world would open on October 31st, which would lead to evil spirits to actively roam on the earth. Many people used this time to communicate to evil spirits or dead relatives and ask for guidance for weather forecasts, crop expectations, and even romantic futures. The only way people could appease the evil spirits was to give them a treat- money, food, candy, sacrifices, etc. People didn’t want to be tricked by the evil spirits, so they gave them a treat. This is the root of Trick-or-Treating.

halloween-pumpkin-fields

Around the 8th century, the Catholic Church sought to redeem this evil day when they moved into the area. They didn’t want to create another day to combat this evil Samhain celebration, but instead wanted to redeem the specific day. Pope Gregory III made November 1st become “All Hallows Day” or “All Saints Day”, which was a holiday celebrating the martyrs of the Catholic Church. The Pope wanted to be firm and get the pagans out of their own day. November 1st was “All Hallows Day”, while October 31st was “All Hallows Eve”. Pope Gregory III, you’re awesome!

With all that being said, can Christians celebrate this seemingly pagan holiday?
Yes and no.

The Christian shouldn’t anything that supports witchcraft, purposely engage demons, and anything related to the occult.

To do so would be disobeying God’s Word (Duet. 18:10-12). However, does dressing up and asking neighbor’s for candy constitute supporting witchcraft or anything pagan related? Nope. To be clear, a Christian shouldn’t dress up as a devil, Jesus, or anything sexually provocative.

A good Bible passage related to this topic is 1 Corinthians 10:23-33. Back in Paul’s day, the local meat market would often sell meat that was sacrificed to idols. Christians soon questions whether or not they would eat this meat. In essence, the meat had pagan roots (i.e. pagans used it for bad). Paul emphatically said that they could eat the meat with a clear conscience due to their freedom in Christ (v. 25). Paul continues in verses 28-29 by saying that you shouldn’t eat the meat, if it causes a Christian who doesn’t understand their freedom in Christ to stumble.

In conclusion, does Halloween have pagan roots? Yes. Can the Christian celebrate Halloween? Yes and no.

You can dress up in appropriate costumes, trick-or-treat, and participate in other Halloween related activities. However, if you don’t feel comfortable celebrating it, then you shouldn’t.

Lastly, if you know a believer who would be bothered by you celebrating Halloween, then you should consider not celebrating it.

Personally, I loved Halloween as a kid. Below is an embarrassing picture of me celebrating it when I was 14. There was no pagan activity done at my house, just embarrassing photos being taken:)

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Do you think Christians should celebrate Halloween or not?

Leave your comment below.

Jordan Kranda
Follower of Jesus. Husband to Ariel. Master’s of Theology (Greek Track) Graduate. Future Pastor. Present lover of cheese, Blink-182, & watching sports.

42 COMMENTS

  1. I completely understand where the anti- Halloween points of view come from, but I also have to wonder if these same people celebrate Christmas and put up Christmas trees. The modern date for the Christmas holiday was a tradition put in place by later church leaders to coincide with a pagan holiday of debauchery to try to attemp and change this pagan holiday for good. The idea of cutting down trees and evergreen boughs to decorate houses was a tradition pagans used to celebrate the winter solstice. Jeremiah 10:3-4 could be used to say that Christians should not decorate Christmas trees. However, I agree with you Jordan that what matters most is where your heart is. We have found freedom in Jesus and are redeemed. I really like the verse in Titus that you mentioned as well.

  2. How about we use this holiday to meet our neighbors. This may be your only opportunity all year to do so. We are called to be a light and it’s hard to do when we don’t use these times to meet the lost.

  3. i completely agree, Jordan! Every person needs to decide for themselves if they should celebrate it but you can’t force your choice onto someone else or tell someone else it’s wrong. I personally believe Jesus would make Halloween a fun event to show people who He is!

  4. That video that was posted is legit. While I understand Jordan’s argument, I feel the bible really does preach against Halloween

  5. Its not about being legalistic but what the word of GOD says. I honestly disagree because when I used to be a non believer I celebrated it but once I knew Christ I stopped doing it. Why? Because I do not think its an godly act. We can dress but are we really going to preach the word of God to our friends who need God? Or just focus on the candy and the good time? I honestly think theres different ways to preach the word of Jesus but that can honestly ruin our testimony. Why? Because non christians cannot difference if we are of Christ. We should dress up with the white robes instead to reach purity in Christ because not ALL the things of this world can be seen as pure. The bible verse you said about Titus its just out of context. Im really agree with Abby. Anyways its not to contend its just to alert. God bless you and keep on in Christ Jordan.

  6. I’m a pastor’s daughter, and have never celebrated Halloween. My family just doesn’t feel comfortable with doing it, so we don’t. Mainly because we don’t like how the majority of Halloween stuff is about darkness (devil costumes etc.), and death (skeletons, skulls, blood and gore). Generally, it’s just not something we picture Jesus ever celebrating or taking part in. Since we’re truly seeking to be like Him, we don’t want to condone a pagan holiday in any way. As Christians, I think we are to shine as bright lights for Christ in this world…not join in celebrating a holiday shrouded in darkness and have our light dimmed it….even if it is “just a holiday.” And “fun to celebrate.”
    Yes, I’ll admit, younger childrens costumes can be cute SOMETIMES, but that’s the only ‘cute’ thing about Halloween.
    When we had a youth group, we did something called “Bible Trails” around Halloween. It was still an evening filled with fun after dark, but it helped us at the same time to learn more about the Bible and a closer relationship with God.
    Personally, I would never celebrate Halloween in any way, or take part in anything having to do with it.

    • “Bible Trails” sounds like a great idea! I respectfully disagree about not celebrating it, but the conversation is good for growth.

  7. In Acts (I forget what chapter), it mentions about not eating meats sacrificed to other gods. You mentioned that it was by using another verse. I personally believe that we shouldn’t celebrate it because of what it says in Acts and it being related to pagan rituals.

  8. i’ve heard a testimony from an ex-satanist, who would describe in full what happened on halloween and he teared up and choked up and it really hit him hard when he was talking about christians “sort of” participating in halloween, he knew first hand what was going on in that day and how horrible it really was so it broke his heart completely when he came to Jesus and saw christians acting like it really wasn’t that bad. personally i have previous years thought it was no big deal to maybe go get some candy or have a little halloween related fun, but truth is that even if we’re not “actually doing or celebrating pagan things or the devil” we’re still attending his party and enjoying it. as harmless as dressing up like mickey mouse and asking for candy is, what we’re representing is a pagan ritual actually and fueling the fire, instead of killing off halloween we’re helping it grow. should we go into hiding on that day and be afraid? no way! we should live it as another day another gift from God in joy maybe going out to eat with our family or gathering with our church brothers for fellowship and definitely say a prayer for those kids who innocently celebrated but got sacrificed, and pray God frees if maybe one child in that horrible practice. I am not religious at all i am very liberal like i said I’ve never found any wrong in kind of participating in halloween but truth is it’s pretty bad, i mean i wouldn’t my child in a strip club even if they weren’t really participating just being there. i think thats how God sees us in a way regarding this holiday.

  9. I totally agree with Abby too. It actually is black and white. Just because you change the way it looks doesn’t mean it’s not that same. Call it whatever you want, it’s still Halloween! And actually fairies have evil roots as well. Do your research people. This is also why I posted that video as a comment. You can’t just half give it up. I have nothing against Jordan, but it’s all or nothing. I used to celebrate Holloween because I didn’t know better and now I do. Watch the video guys.

    • It’s not black and white. I disagree with every single sentence of your response. You’re too legalistic. Instead of telling others to “do your research”, you should “do your research” about your freedom in Christ, the legalistic attitudes of the Pharisee’s and Jesus’ response to them, and finally what Jesus’ death and resurrection actually accomplished. Show some grace.

      I appreciate your response, since many have it. It makes for a heathy dialogue.

      Blessings,
      Jordan

  10. i work with low income families and as a fundraiser and food drive we put on a haunted house…now am i bad for participating in something like that…everything isnt black and white abby..that is why i like how jordan said yes and no…and many churches are doing trunk in treats.(fun, safe, food and fellowship

  11. Wow! Am I the only one who thinks that all Christians should NOT support/celebrate Halloween, PERIOD? I mean think about it… most of the costumes that Halloween supports are ungodly, which some would say, “is the only time where people can dress “sexually provocative, scary, etc.” and get away with it. In all essence, it’s the day of the Devil/Satan, “Devil’s Day” and Halloween promotes witchcraft, evil spirits, sorcery, etc. which in the Bible says that “they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). The Bible also teaches us not to participate in “worldly amusements and entertainments” (1 John 2:15) and love it.
    And obviously real Christians would not put on a costume of the devil, of a witch, a vampire, etc. because that would just contradict the fact that they are a child of God. But when you support Halloween, what kind of child makes you? You either are the child of God or the child of the Devil. You can either be one or the other. Never both. Once you repent of your sins, baptized in Jesus, filled with God’s Spirit, you are no longer bound by the Devil, you belong to God. Therefore you should NEVER go back to the Devil and thus participate in the Devil’s works or be associated with it in any way. I mean why would you? Therefore the Bible declares that Christians and everyone else for that matter should be “holy, because God is Holy” (1 Peter 1:16)
    Yeah you may think that “dressing up” as a princess, an angel, a fairy, etc. is not bad and “asking neighbor’s for candy constitute supporting witchcraft or anything pagan related” is okay, BUT it is a sign or an act that you are support/participating “Devil’s Day.”
    Lastly, you did some research on its history and discovered many negative stories.
    And I quote, “Some believed the invisible “gates” between the natural world and the spirit world would open on October 31st, which would lead to evil spirits to actively roam on the earth. Many people used this time to communicate to evil spirits or dead relatives and ask for guidance for weather forecasts, crop expectations, and even romantic futures. The only way people could appease the evil spirits was to give them a treat- money, food, candy, sacrifices, etc. People didn’t want to be tricked by the evil spirits, so they gave them a treat. This is the root of Trick-or-Treating.”
    Therefore as history tells us, it’s clear to me that October 31st or (Hallow)een Day, is the day where evil comes out and anything that is evil or not godly related pertains to the Devil, Satan himself. So essentially, I strongly believe, that Christians (followers of Christ) SHOULD NOT celebrate Halloween.

    • Yes, yes, and yes!
      More easily put.. As CHRIST followers our main goal should be to reflect CHRIST himself.
      It may be sort of cliché but think about it.. “What Would Jesus Do?” If Jesus were to presently walk upon us today, do you believe he will be dressing up in a costume and participating is this “wordly event”? The answer is obvious. No, He would not. Therefore we should not either.

      • To clarify, I was agreeing with AbbyB’s Response (hence the yes, yes &yes!) I strongly believe Christians should NOT take part in Halloween, but instead pray for the souls who on that very day sacrifice/sell &partake in satanic rituals.
        God bless.

    • Wow! I couldn’t agree with you more, Abby! My parents have never wanted me to celebrate Halloween in any way. When I was younger, I always did feel left out for not getting the chance to dress up and trick-or-treat with my friends. I was so confused because most kids in my church celebrated it in some way. I’m not saying I’m any holier than them because I never celebrated Halloween. Its really up to the parents. Even though Halloween seems like a little innocent kid-based holiday nowadays, its really not. Jordan said so himself its origins. They’re all for the devil/evil spirits, etc. Not something I want to take part of.

      Anyway, I always enjoy reading your blogs, Jordan. Everything I say I mean in the deepest respect. (:

    • Great response, Abby. Just be careful when speak to others about your convictions. If you feel like you shouldn’t celebrate it, then don’t. However, don’t make your personal convictions become what you think God wants everyone to do. You can sound a bit legalistic and turn off many people.

      Titus 1:15 says, “To the pure, all things are pure”. The past impure day of Halloween isn’t impure for the Christian. Jesus and His resurrection accomplished something.

      Love your response.

      Blessings

  12. when you said there was a picture of you in a costume… not once did i ever picture that costume would be a cow! hahaha this is priceless!
    And yea i asked my pastor why him and his kids dont celebrate halloween and he told me about the pagan holiday.
    Im not celebrating what halloween WAS im celebrating what it is, a day to dress up get free candy and get spooked, cause who doesnt like a good scare?

    hmm… but now im conflicted about my costume choice! im always something good like a cat or a super hero… but halloween is about dressing up as something scary!!… hmmm…

    My family is Christian, but we always celebrated Halloween, its harmless fun! Its deff 1 of my favorite Holidays!

    • hahaha. I’m glad you liked my cow costume.

      Good point about not celebrating what it WAS. Great point.

      Thanks for the comment!

  13. Well I’m glad that I am going as an old lady haha! Anyway I feel as if celebrating holloween doesn’t determine your relationship with God or how strong you’re faith is. I know plenty of people who celebrate this holiday and are full of the Holy Spirit. I also wanna say that you have excellent points.

  14. I totally had an argument with my parents not very long ago on this subject. They used the verse talking about wearing masks in pagan rituals (which of course doesn’t apply to Halloween at all) but they said they don’t want me to go to a haunted house because they’re afraid it will open me up to demons/possession -_- any suggestions for an argument against this?

    • I would say that you need to honor your mother and your father. That’s one of the ten commandments. Honor them by honoring their rules. You live under their house. Therefore, you have to abide by their rules. You can have a respectful dialogue with them about it, but at the end of the day, you need to honor them. Great question, Julia!

  15. I’m with you! I’m Australian so it’s not a big thing here, but it’s growing, mostly for the trick-or-treating. I personally don’t celebrate it, but that’s mostly because the idea of walking around asking for lollies doesn’t appeal to me.

    I am however, a big Harry Potter fan. I love the books and movies. I think there’s actually a strong Christian message through the storyline, and the majority of the magic in the story is what I would call ‘physical magic’, ie. making cups dance. The only ‘spiritual magic’ which dabbles in soul splitting is clearly portrayed as being evil. Whilst I have no issues reading it, I would never grab a stick and try to cast the spells in the book. I believe that gives Satan a foothold, and I’m definitely not ok with that. Sort of the same analysis as you’ve given Halloween 🙂

    I love your blog posts, keep it up!

    • That’s interesting that it’s growing over there. Thanks for sharing that information. And yea, Harry Potter is totally fine for the Christian. You have great analysis of the Harry Potter book on why it’s ok for the Christian. Excellent insight.

      Thanks for reading them and I appreciate the encouragement.

  16. I LOVE this take on Halloween. I’ve never been allowed to celebrate Halloween and neither was my father. I definitely used to want to trick or treat as a child and to experience getting candy from neighbors but even now I don’t feel comfortable celebrating and as a result my family and I started an activity at my church called “trunk or treat” which is where church members decorate the trunks of their cars with different (non-scary) themes and kids go around to each trunk and receive candy. A nice safe alternative to trick-or-treating we think!

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