Pastor Lee answers: Are Christians really supposed to be celebrating Halloween?
First let me say that whatever you hope the answer is, you’ll find an article or blog on line backing you up – whether you are Christian or not. I never put too much thought into this until my very conservative neighbors moved in. Before them, Auntie Jean and Uncle Roland lived their – Roland was one of Dad’s childhood friends and they built their homes next to each other. Uncle Roland was the best house to go trick or treating at when I was growing up. All the kids in the neighborhood went to his house even though the driveway was really long to get there. He gave out tennis balls and full-sized candy bars! And not just one but at least two or three. And then there were all the marketing goodies he brought home from his Board work. You could fill your whole pumpkin at his house! All the kids in the neighborhood went trick or treating – and as an adult I can look back at my Catholic friends, Christian friends, and others in the neighborhood who were likely Jewish and other faith traditions. No one didn’t go. When I was about 40 years old (still living there), someone new moved in and I was shocked when the Dad curtly answered “We don’t do that” when I asked what his kids would dress up as for Halloween. There are many verses in the Bible that suggest Halloween is NOT OK!
Dressed as Dracula or as devils, neighborhood children have or will be happily “trick or treating” in the United States and some other countries. But would it surprise you to know that “Halloween” (by that name) started out as a holy Christian celebration?
Hallow, in Old English, means “holy” or “sacred.” Therefore, “Hallows’ Eve,” or “Halloween” simply means “the evening of holy persons” and refers to the evening before All Saints Day, which is November 1 on both Anglican and Catholic calendars. Halloween is a mixture of Celtic religious ideas and Christian martyrology. Somewhere in the halls of history “All Hallows Eve” got hijacked. What started as a day to prepare for All Saints Day became a spooky, evil, and candy-filled night. The word Halloween has nothing to do with pagan or evil beliefs. It comes from hallowed – which is Holy. Think of “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowedbe your name.”
So, yes, I believe there’s nothing wrong in celebrating a night of fun and laughter, tricks and treats. Just be sure to brush your teeth! And then remember All Saints Day.”