Halloween is almost here. That means that fall is upon us and it's going to get cold soon. It also becomes a time where we walk a fine line. I love to celebrate. My kids love dressing up and getting candy. A few years ago, one of my kids asked me why we celebrate Halloween. I couldn't really answer her, so I decided I better really find the answer. I found the book, "Redeeming Halloween" by Wier and McCune. As I was reading, it really opened my eyes. It also gave me hope for redeeming this holiday and celebrating in a way that would honor God. I wrote a series of posts about what I found from the book and the internet. Since we will start our decorating this weekend and get our pumpkins, I thought it would be a great time for me to review what I learned a couple years back. And I thought I share them with you.
Redeeming Halloween - Part 1 (originally posted 10/9/09)
My daughter, Mackenzie, asked me why we celebrate Halloween. She wanted details. I told her that she should look it up on the internet. (That's what a mom does when she really doesn't know all the facts. Well, this mom anyways. :) Well, when I was looking through our resource center at church, I found this book. "Redeeming Halloween" I have so much time to read that I figured I should get this book. Actually, it's pretty good.
When it came to celebrating years ago, it was always just about decorating, costumes and candy. Then the deeper I got into my walk with the Lord, the more I began to see how we were not honoring Him. For example: decorations that included ghosts and witches, along with witch costumes, etc. Don't get me wrong...I'm not judging anyone here. This is just my walk and I'm sharing it with anyone who cares. I never really gave it a second thought until a few years ago. It was like all of a sudden I started feeling bad when I put out ghosts or witches. Not because anyone had told me it was wrong...it was just a feeling that came from inside. So, we started to transition out of those decorations. We also have gotten rid of most of the "scary" things. The more I think about it, the more I just wonder why I would "want" to scare my kids or any kids for that matter. hmmm....
So, through reading this book I've learned some cool stuff and ideas. I'm sure there are hundreds or more of resource to get information about Halloween. And I'm also quite sure that they all vary to some degree. If you have other information or ideas, please post it in the comments section at the end of this post. I would love to hear them.
My main point in doing this is to be able to answer those questions that my 11 year old daughter has asked me. And to share with you some insights and ideas I've been reading in this book and found on the internet. I am not judging anyone here, or trying to start a debate. :) These are just my own personal feelings. That being said, I welcome your comments and ideas as well.
First of all, here's a short version of the history of Halloween.
History of name (from Wikipedia)
The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening", but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day", which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.
Here are the other 3 posts.
Redeeming Halloween - Part 2 (This is the Christian History part)
Redeeming Halloween - Part 3 (Fun ways to celebrate - trick-or-treating, decorating, pumpkin carving)
Redeeming Halloween - Part 4 (Ways to share your faith and love your neighbor)
I hope you enjoy!