It’s October and you know what that means. It’s time to dust off our best Halloween costumes and let the festivities begin!
Dressing up for Halloween is as American as apple pie. Every year during October, Americans spend millions of dollars on lavish costumes and way too much candy, making “All Hallow’s Eve” the second-largest commercially celebrated holiday in the county.
Although Halloween is usually well-natured and in good fun, some believe Christians shouldn’t participate in such a celebration. But what does the Bible say about Halloween and should Christians be skipping over the holiday?
To help you understand Halloween a bit better, let’s first take a look at its origins.
The Origins of Halloween
Some historians believe Halloween is rooted in pagan traditions originating from ancient Celtic harvest festivals. The Gaelic festival called Samhain was a celebration that marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, or what the Celtics called the “darker half” of the year. The festival included huge gatherings, feasts, bonfires, and sacrifice rituals. Early literature from the time suggests these celebrations opened portals to the Celtic Otherworld. The Otherworld was a spirit realm for deities as well as the dead.
Cattle and livestock were also slaughtered as gifts to the spirit realm and special bonfires helped protect the rituals from unwanted demons.
Although Halloween’s origins come from pagan beliefs, Christians have long been a part of its celebrations. During the 8th century, Rome’s Pope Gregory III moved ‘All Saints Day’ to Nov. 1, which officially made Oct. 31 “All Hallows Eve.” A century later Pope Gregory IV extended the celebration to the church and the pagan holiday found its way into Christianity.
What does the Bible say about Halloween?
Although the Bible does condemn certain pagan traditions, the word “Halloween” does not appear in the text. The Bible also doesn’t warn against observing Halloween, but there are a few important verses we can reference for perspective.
Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live.
For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:21
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
“The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”