Halloween as we know it today is far removed from its Celtic origin over 2,000 years ago. The true meaning of Halloween traverses a colorful, but also a quite sinister, history since the beginning, where the celebrations revolved around the harvest and the end of Summer, along with the advent of a long, dark winter associated with death.
Through the ages, the celebrations surrounding Halloween have varied from harmless agricultural festivals to worshiping the dead and witchcraft. Even though the majority of the population enjoy Halloween and the festivities, there are many disturbing reasons as to why all Catholics should avoid it if they wish to stay pious.
Read on to discover ten reasons for Catholics to take into consideration when they are planning a celebration on Halloween. You might think that any one of these reasons is enough to reconsider, or you could be the kind of person who thinks you don't mean any harm and it's all just in good fun. Either way, it's important to at least ponder over these points if you take your religion seriously.
Table of Contents
- 1) Halloween has Pagan roots
- 2) Fortune Telling is condemned in the Bible
- 3) Dressing up as Demons, Ghosts or Witches attracts Evil spirits
- 4) Bobbing for Apples is celebrating a Pagan Goddess
- 5) Halloween diverts attention away from Catholic Saints
- 6) Trick or Treat goes against Christian principles
- 7) Superstitions and Scaring people is not Godly
- 8) Offering Bribes for Favors shows a lack of Faith
- 9) Celebrating Death and the Dark versus Life and the Light
- 10) Piety is against the indulgence of Halloween
1) Halloween has Pagan roots
As discussed in the introduction, the true meaning of Halloween has origins in the Celtic world. From fortune telling, Pagan rituals, witchcraft and magical spells, to worshiping the dead, dressing as witches or demons and animal sacrifice, Halloween couldn’t be further from the true teachings of Christ and the purity of a Holy, Christian life.
Even though the Catholic church adapted to some Pagan ways, it stopped short of accepting witchcraft or sacrifice.
2) Fortune Telling is condemned in the Bible
Some of the rituals attached to Halloween include women doing mirror magic or performing spells to determine a future husband or lover. Not only should good Christian people place their faith in the Lord to find their true mate, fortune telling and witchcraft is forbidden if you consider yourself Catholic and a faithful devotee of God.
3) Dressing up as Demons, Ghosts or Witches attracts Evil spirits
A good Christian might think that dressing up on Halloween is innocent fun, but wearing evil masks and costumes opens your soul to possession and influence by agents of evil. Even though traditional Pagans dressed up to thwart evil spirits, it goes without saying that it is tempting fate and attracting the Devil's attention.
Even if you think it's cute to dress your daughter in a princess or fairy costume, she will still be mixing with other children whose parents weren't so careful.
4) Bobbing for Apples is celebrating a Pagan Goddess
When the Roman Empire absorbed some Celtic and Pagan festivals, they included the worship of Pomona – a Roman Goddess governing fruit and trees. The Halloween ritual of bobbing for apples is associated with Pomona’s symbol: the apple. Remember that idolatry and worshiping other deities is forbidden in the Catholic faith.
There are many other rituals associated with Halloween, which may or not be observed by a lot of people but still an integral part of the festival.
5) Halloween diverts attention away from Catholic Saints
The Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was celebrated on May 13th but was changed by Pope Boniface IV in 609 A.D. to November 1st – honoring all Saints and Martyrs. It was changed later on to All Soul’s Day but it is safer to pay homage to Catholic Saints on Halloween, if you wish to practice your faith and show your love for God.
6) Trick or Treat goes against Christian principles
When Irish immigrants settled in America in the 1800’s, they brought with them the tradition of going from house to house asking for food or money. Earlier traditions had the poor asking for “Soul cakes.” Tricking rather than treating people who don't have anything to spare or who can’t give is against the Christian idea of helping the poor.
7) Superstitions and Scaring people is not Godly
Think of black cats, dancing skeletons, communing with the dead or dressing as zombies in order to scare people. It might sound like fun but the enjoyment over frightening another person – especially a child - is akin to inflicting pain or even causing a heart attack. Would God approve of instilling fear in others or obeying superstitions?
8) Offering Bribes for Favors shows a lack of Faith
Some Halloween traditions involved leaving bowls of food out to appease the spirits and turn them away from entering the home. Leaving treats for the dearly departed diverts them away from the Lord. A Catholic needs to remember to have faith that their deceased loved ones will be taken care of once Judgment Day comes around.
9) Celebrating Death and the Dark versus Life and the Light
A Pagan might say that reverence for the dead is an honorable practice, but why not focus on goodness, light and love? God is representative of life and all that is Holy and pure. Remember that for the most part, children are catered to at Halloween. Why fill their heads with darkness or fearful imagery over love and light?
10) Piety is against the indulgence of Halloween
Millions of dollars are spent each year for Halloween food, candy, decorations, costumes and parties. Jesus taught that living a pious life, void of over-indulgence and greed is a sure path to the Kingdom of God. What would Jesus think if he saw his followers behaving in such a depraved way or tricking people who can't afford to give?
After all is said and done, giving to the poor and loving your neighbor should be something done all year round – not just on one night where death and superstition is rife.
It’s up to you whether or not you’ll celebrate Halloween, but this information should give you food for thought. You may believe in God but not ghosts or feel that your faith is strong enough to withstand negative energies.
The fact remains that the true meaning of Halloween is riddled with darkness and its history goes against the teachings of Christ. It’s important to remember that even the most "innocent" Halloween festivals have evil elements.