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.
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.
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:)
Do you think Christians should celebrate Halloween or not?
Leave your comment below.