This Is Why I Don’t Celebrate Halloween
On October 31st, children dress up mostly in grotesque costumes and go door to door requesting candy from strangers. I’d bet that the majority of adults also once participated, possibly singing a song, knocking on peoples’ doors and making an offer they couldn’t refuse – “Trick or Treat?”
It may seem like a cute and mischievous celebration now, but the reality is that Halloween comes from an ancient pagan festival for the dead.
Halloween refers to the night preceding the Catholic ‘All Saints Day’ (also known as All Hallows or Hallowmas) celebrated on November 1st. This celebration was designated by Pope Gregory IV (827-844) in 835 AD. It was established in order to commemorate the departed faithful souls, (which were believed not to have been purified), to reach heaven. The Catholics believe that there is a place called purgatory, and that the souls who did not receive forgiveness of sins on this earth can go there to receive forgiveness. Catholic priests sold indulgences to the relatives of these souls so that their loved one could go to heaven faster, how convenient.
It is common knowledge that there are no records in the Bible about celebrating “All Saints Day”, nor is there any evidence about this nonsensical teaching. Though “All Saints Day” and “Halloween” are ridiculous celebrations, let’s briefly learn about their origins and historical backgrounds for the sake of accuracy.
What Does “Halloween” Even Mean?
The word “Halloween” came from “All Hallows Eve,” which means the day before “All Saints Day”. Through the latter corruption of the English language, the terms became consolidated and known as “Halloween”. As we can see the video above describes the origin of the name and the reason why it is celebrated today.
Where Did This Celebration Come From?
All the customs of Halloween come from many folk customs around the world. Historians generally agree that Halloween came from the special day celebrated by the ancient Druids, the educated and priestly class of the Celtic region. The Celts were the first Aryan people who came from Asia and settled in Europe. The Celtic religion presided over by the Druids had beliefs in various nature deities and ceremonies to worship them. The Celtic people who resided in northern France, United Kingdom and Ireland were immersed in occult arts and worshiped nature such as oak trees and mistletoe.
The Celts also worshiped the sun god Belenus, especially during the winter festival Beltane (May 1st), and another god who was “the lord of death” or “of the dead” during the summer festival Samhain (October 31st). Human sacrifices were offered during both festivals. The Celts believed they were descendants of the god “Dis,” a Roman name for the “god of the dead.” The Celts and their Druid priests started their New Year on November 1st, which they considered the start of winter, the harvest and the beginning of the dark; this time of the year was usually associated with death. The Celts believed that on the night before the New Year (October 31st), the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and that ghosts, evil spirits and witches returned to earth, roamed the earth. They worried that these spirits might ruin their crops, so in order to frighten away the evil spirits they lit large bonfires in honor of the sun god Belenus.
Since they thought these evil spirits might play tricks on the living, they dressed in grotesque masks and costumes typically consisting of animal’s heads and skins, danced around the bonfires, pretending as if they were being pursued by evil spirits. They offered food to the ghosts so that they would feel entertained and welcomed. If food was not provided, they believed these evil spirits would cast spells on them. They believed it was the most favorable time for divination convening marriage, luck, health, death, and it was also considered as the only day on which the help of the devil was invoked for such purposes.
Roman customs added to the Druid traditions after Rome conquered Britain in 43 AD. For 400 years Rome conquered and ruled Celtic land. During this time, two Roman festivals were integrated into the festivities; “Feralia” and a celebratory day for the goddess Pomona. Feralia commemorated the passing of the dead in late October. As Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruit and trees; her celebration serves as the root of the tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.
Halloween is Popularized
On May 13, 609 AD, the Catholic’s feast “All Martyrs Day” was established in the Western Church in Rome. Pope Gregory III (731AD – 741 AD) changed the celebration date to November 1st. He also decided to include all the saints alongside all martyrs. A few hundred years later, in 1000 AD, the Catholic Church designated November 2nd as “All Souls Day” in order to honor the dead. “All Souls Day” integrated activities similar to the Pagan traditions involving bonfires, parades and dressing up as saints, angels and devils. This celebration was eventually called “All-Hallows Eve,” eventually becoming today’s “Halloween”.
During the latter half of the 19th Century, Irish immigrants also came to play a part in the making of Halloween. Americans began dressing up in costumes and going from door to door requesting food or money. Round-shaped, sweet breads (soul cakes), were baked and given as a way to commemorate the dead souls. The Catholic Church encouraged giving soul cakes as a means of replacing the ancient practice of leaving food for the dead spirits. Halloween lanterns were originally carved out of turnips, but soon changed to pumpkins; an easier alternative.
And so, around the 1800’s Halloween became a day for parties, games, food, and festive costumes. The fear and horror once closely associated with Halloween had slowly faded away. Today, Halloween has been transformed into a highly marketed holiday. Americans spend around 2.5-3 billion dollars celebrating Halloween each year, making it the second largest spending day, just behind Christmas.
You may be thinking “I still don’t get what is so wrong with Halloween!”
Outwardly, Halloween seems like just a fun night. However, if you are a Christian, Halloween is not just that. Keeping pagan traditions severs our beliefs and faith towards God. Keeping Halloween is essentially proclaiming that dead spirits can return to the earth and give us good or bad luck. If we appease the dead souls they will give us good luck and if we don’t, they will give us back luck. This is a tremendous and ridiculous claim. It is also unbiblical.
The Bible says that when a person dies, his spirit returns to God and waits for judgment.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 – “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. “
Revelation 20:11-13 – “Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books…and each person was judged according to what they had done…”
The spiritual world is controlled by God, meaning that both blessings and curses come according to our behavior towards God’s commands and will. It is absurd to expect blessings by offering food to the dead. And yet, this is exactly what Halloween is about. We should not interpret the spiritual world like this.
Luke 16:26 – “And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”
Through Revelation Chapter 20 and Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus, it is clear that after a person dies, there is a great chasm fixed between heaven and hell. The person who dies will be judged according to what he has done on this earth.
We Should Not Worship God the Way Pagans Worship Their gods
There is no question that the celebration of Halloween comes from pagan origins. However, God had already warned us to never worship Him in the same way the pagans worship their gods.
Deuteronomy 12:30-32 – “and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.’ You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifice to their gods. See that you do all I command you; do not add to it.”
God already knew that His people would see practices from other religions, and that they would attempt to worship Him in pagan ways. So God strictly warned against this. Why would God warn us from worshiping Him in the same way pagans worship their gods?
1 Corinthians 10:20 – No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
Halloween is a pagan festival in which participants offer food to the dead. According to the Bible any pagan sacrifice (offering) is given to demons, so we absolutely must be attentive and careful. We should recognize that churches or prophets following pagan festivals such as Halloween prove themselves to be false. On an individual level, we must be cautious about participating in these festivals. Keeping them makes us participants in demon worship and pulls us further away from God.
In the World Mission Society Church of God, we do not celebrate Halloween, nor any other pagan ritual. Instead, we keep the Feasts of God as they are testified in the Bible; the same ones Christ and the members of the Early Church observed.
But… how is it that we even know about the Feasts of God? Why is it that the World Mission Society Church of God does not keep Halloween while numerous other churches choose to do so?
The reason we know and keep the Biblical feasts, not the pagan rituals of the world, is because Christ Ahnsahnghong came to this earth and showed us the truth of the New Covenant.
So this October 31st,instead of dressing up in some weird outfit, why don’t you grab your Bible and stop by the nearest World Mission Society Church of God. You will see how the word of God is the real treat for our soul, without any sort of tricks involved.