It never ceases to amaze me. Every year some religious group tries to out somebody or some group for celebrating a “heathenistic pagan” holiday like Halloween.
So listen up you closed-minded nudnicks!
Halloween is an observance usually celebrated on the night of October 31, usually by children dressing in costumes and going door-to-door collecting candy. It is celebrated in much of the Western world, though most common in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada and sometimes in Australia and New Zealand. Irish, Scots and other immigrants brought older versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th century. Most other Western countries have embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.
The term “Halloween” is derived from Hallowe’en, an old contraction, still retained in Ireland, Scotland and some parts of Canada, of “All Hallow’s Eve,” so called as it is the evening (or eve) before the feast of All Saints (an important day in the Christian calendar), which used to be called “All Hallows” derived from All Hallowed Souls. In Ireland, the name was Hallow Eve and this name is still used by some older people. Halloween was formerly also sometimes called All Saints’ Eve. The holiday was a day of religious festivities in various northern European pagan traditions, until it was appropriated by Christian missionaries and given a Christian reinterpretation. In Mexico, All Saint’s Day, following Halloween, is the Day of the Dead.
Halloween is also called Pooky Night in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the pÃºca, a mischievous spirit.
In Britain and Ireland in particular, the pagan Celts celebrated the Day of the Dead on All Hallows Day (1st November). The spirits supposedly rose from the dead and, in order to attract them, food was left on the doors. To scare off the evil spirits, the Celts wore masks. When the Romans invaded Britain, they embellished the tradition with their own, which is both a celebration of the harvest and of honoring the dead. Very much later, these traditions were transported to the United States and Canada and other places in the New World.
Halloween is sometimes associated with the occult. Many European cultural traditions hold that Halloween is one of the “liminal” times of the year when the spirit world can make contact with the natural world and when magic is most potent (see, for example, Catalan mythology about witches).
I am a Christian. No, I don’t follow any one particular sect, but I was raised Southern Baptist.
I respect the religions and practices of others, and listen with an open mind when someone speaks to me about his or her beliefs. I have studied up on various religions and find religious history and folklore very fascinating. Wouldn’t this world be grand if others did the same?
Maybe certain Bible-thumpers out there should practice what they preach.
Anywho … Happy Halloween Darklings. :)