Halloween has been celebrated for many years, but how many of you actually know the history? Halloween was originally celebrated as a day worshiping the dead. God does not approve of this, which is clear in His word. Let us dig in to the history and why we, as Christians, should not celebrate Halloween.
Halloween started with the Celtic celebration of Samhaim, held the day before November 1 which was their new year. October 31 was when spirits were thought to come back to earth. The prescience of these spirits supposedly helped predictions of the future to be made. Bonfires would be made and sacrifices burned to appease the spirits. Also the Celts would wear costumes to help make predictions. These costumes would also disguise them from the spirits.
The practice of carving pumpkins originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a beer with him. Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin so that Jack could use it to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years. Soon after, Jack died but God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since.
Eventually as Christianity made its way into the land ruled by the Celts, the Christian holiday of All Saints Day and Samhaim were blended. All Saints Day was also known as All Hallows, eventually becoming Halloween. As time went on Halloween became more of a fun, community oriented holiday. Now most people do not know about the pagan roots of this seemingly innocent holiday.
I know that you may give the excuse that the pagan roots do not matter and that now Halloween is not the same, but the roots matter. The roots of a tree feed the tree, just as the roots of Halloween feed the way people celebrate now. Matthew 7:17-18 says, ‘“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”’ Nothing good can come out of a holiday with such evil roots. 1 Corinthians 10:21 says, ‘You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.’ We as Christians should not participate in evil holidays; we cannot mix holy and unholy. The holiday seems innocent enough, but 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, ‘And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.’
Dressing up for Halloween sound like fun, but not when you look at the roots. The costumes are worn to keep evil spirits away and help foretell fortunes. The Bible says in Leviticus 19:31, ‘Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.’ God has a history for hating fortune tellers, witches, and conjurers. He does not want us having anything to do with them. That is why we should not dress in costumes in the spirit of Halloween, no matter how innocent it seems.
Bonfires are something that most everyone loves. They are great on a chilly fall night, but on Halloween they have a darker meaning. God, in Exodus 20:3, says, ‘“You shall have no other gods before Me.”’ Bonfires were used on Samhaim to sacrifice to the spirits, the Celtic gods. Unknowingly, many people are still making sacrifices with similar bonfires every year on Halloween. This goes against the first commandment God ever gave His people.
Jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin carvings are also a popular tradition on Halloween. But the origins of these start with the devil himself, at least in folk lore. God does not want us, as Christians, having anything to do with the devil and his schemes. How can we continue to participate in a holiday that worships Satan? He is our enemy not our friend.