Halloween is a very popular holiday across the world. In the present day, Halloween is celebrated by children dressing up in costumes, going trick-or-treating, and eating candy. While today's traditions seem harmless, many Christians wonder if halloween is evil.
The celebration of Halloween today for mainline culture does not directly relate to the early practices surrounding October 31. Halloween has its roots in Catholicism and Celtic practices, in which the name “Halloween” comes from the former and the evil practices come from the latter.
Halloween: All in a Name
The name “Halloween” traces back to Catholicism. Halloween comes from the two words of “Hallow,” which means holy person and “een,” which is supposed to mean “eve.” Hallow refers to the “holy people” or the saints celebrated within the Catholic Church on All Saints’ Day, which occurs on November 1.
The “een” added on the end of “Hallow” constitutes the meaning that this is the day before All Saints’ Day. Within the Catholic tradition, the holiday of All Saints’ Day honors and celebrates the saints who have passed away.
Celtic Evil Traditions of Halloween
The darker side of Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain, which is the celebration of the end of summer. According to Celtic tradition during Samhain, the veil between our world and the “Otherworld” is broken, which enables spirits from the dead to come back and visit the living. As part of Samhain, the Celts offered food, animals, and even people to the spirit world.
In addition to the spirit world being able to visit the real world, the Celts believed witches, goblins, fairies, and demons would be roaming around the earth and could visit the inhabitants of the earth. The Druids believed in order to appease the demons, witches, fairies, and goblins, you had to leave them sweets or you had to dress up like them in a costume in order to not be detected as a human being.
Huge bonfires would be built, and huge celebrations would be held in honor of the spirits and the departed souls. The Celtic Druids were known for their celebration of Halloween as it was honored as the most important holiday of the entire year. The Druids would have extreme festivals, celebrations, and feasts in honor of Samhain.
Halloween is an extremely celebratory time for Wiccans. Present-day Wiccans still celebrate the Celtic festival of Samhain. In honor of the pagan practice of Samhain, Wiccans will burn huge bonfires and other “traditional fire ceremonies to celebrations that embrace many aspects of modern Halloween, as well as activities related to honoring nature or ancestors.”
In this way, Wiccans are honoring and celebrating the spirit world. In addition to Wiccans, the church of Satan has declared that any person who dresses up for Halloween is the same as worshipping the devil.
The founder of the church of Satan, Anton LaVey, has made the scary statement, “I am glad that Christian parents let their children worship the devil at least one night out of the year. Welcome to Halloween.” In other words, according to the church of Satan, participating in Halloween is celebrating Satan and evil.
Does Halloween Really Celebrate Evil Today?
The majority of the world celebrates Halloween with different traditions and practices. The believer can celebrate Halloween in good conscience if they are aware that the holiday is simply a fun time to dress up, give out candy, and spend time with friends and families. There is nothing wrong with participating in Halloween just to have wholesome fun.
However, if a person feels under conviction by the Holy Spirit to not partake in Halloween, that is okay too. Each person has to know their own temptations and struggles. God does not want any of His children to celebrate evil nor to become involved in the occult.
“‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads’” (Leviticus 20:27).
The Lord specifically tells us to stay away from occult practices, witchcraft, and demons.
When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).
The Celtic tradition of Samhain celebrated across England, Ireland, and Northern France in the past is clearly a celebration of evil. Christians should not participate in Samhain, and they should strongly encourage others to abstain from the festival of Samhain as well.
The only person we should honor and celebrate is God Himself. We should sing, shout, and praise the One who has redeemed us.
Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord (Psalm 150:1-6).
God is the exact opposite of evil. He is perfect, good, blameless, holy, awesome, and flawless. He is completely worthy of our celebration. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
It is not beneficial for Christians to partake in any evil nor should Christians celebrate evil. Evil is the exact opposite of God’s holy, true, and perfect nature. Evil was celebrated on Halloween in the past because of pagan practices that stretched across the Celtic people and the Druids in England, Ireland, and Northern France.
Since the time of these early practices of Samhain, Halloween has changed. The Halloween the average person celebrates today is not the same celebration of Samhain. It is without a doubt to say that the Celts celebrated evil on Halloween; however, the present-day celebration is different from the pagan practices of creating bonfires, giving sweets to the demonic, and communicating with the “Otherworld.”
As believers, we need to exercise caution and wisdom whenever we approach topics, such as the holiday of Halloween. Evil was celebrated on Halloween in the past, but if you choose to celebrate Halloween in your Christian freedom by passing out candy to children, dressing up, or going trick-or-treating, you are not celebrating evil.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is probably embarking on an adventure.