Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween is a fun festival! Live with it!

I've been reading a few articles about how Halloween is Satan's festival, many of which talk about the origins of Halloween as an evil feast and its negative aspects. In a recent article published by Kingdom Revival Post, borrowing an entry from Omega Times, it stated "萬聖節是屬撒旦的,我們應視之為瘟疫,亦要提醒別人。" After reading these misleading entries, I'm compelled to chip in my two cents.

Halloween has origins in the ancient celtic festival known as Samhain, which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf. The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".

Indeed, Halloween has religious undertones. In the Anglican Church, some dioceses have chosen to emphasize the Christian traditions of All Saints' Day, while some other Protestants celebrate the holiday as Reformation Day, a day to remember the Protestant Reformation.

In fact, the Halloween tradition is far from being "satanic" in origin or practice and that it holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being a valuable life lesson and a part of many of their parishioners' heritage.

We, as Christians, should ascribe no negative significance to Halloween. We should treat it as a purely secular holiday devoted to celebrating "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy to childrem. Halloween celebrations are common among Roman Catholic parochial schools throughout North America and in Ireland. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church sees Halloween as having a Christian connection. Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has said, "[I]f English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that."

Upon close inspection, Halloween is completely incompatible with the Christian faith due to its origin as a pagan "Festival of the Dead." In more recent years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has organized a "Saint Fest" on the holiday. Many contemporary Protestant churches view Halloween as a fun event for children, holding events in their churches where children and their parents can dress up, play games, and get candy.

Therefore, I regard Halloween as harmless, secular, and a fun holiday. Going to haunted houses and be sacred by ugly creatures should be regarded as a leisurely pastime and not an opportunity for Satan to spread his evildoings. Giving out candy to infant trick-or-treaters is a tradition that should be welcomed and endorsed to foster friendly atmosphere during festival times. Most of all, it's just a cute thing to do!

Why spend time discussing all the negative aspects of a largely fun and trivial festival while we can use this time to give back to the society by doing more meaningful things?

As children do have fun during Halloween, why don't we adults grow up?

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