Sunday, 31 October 2010

Halloween or All Hallows eve

Christian perspectives on the observance of Halloween are strongly divided. Some believers feel complete freedom to observe the holiday, others run and hide from it, many boycott or ignore it, a number celebrate it through more positive and imaginative observances or Christian alternatives to Halloween, and still others choose to take advantage of Halloween's evangelistic opportunities.

Some of today's popular celebrations associated with Halloween have pagan roots stemming from the ancient Celtic festival, Samhain. This harvest festival of the Druids ushered in the New Year, beginning on the evening of October 31, with the lighting of bonfires and the offering of sacrifices. As the Druids danced around the fires, they celebrated the ending of the summer season and the beginning of the season of darkness. It was also believed that at this time of year the invisible "gates" between the natural world and the spirit world would open, allowing free movement between the two worlds.

During the 8th century in the diocese of Rome, Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1, officially making October 31 "All Hallows Eve," some say, as a way of claiming the celebration for Christians. However, this feast commemorating the martyrdom of the saints had already been celebrated by Christians for many centuries prior to this time. Pope Gregory IV broadened the feast to include the entire Church. Inevitably, some of the pagan practices associated with the season persisted and have been mixed into modern celebrations of Halloween.

I struggle with this one and really sit on the fence, I can fully appreciate all of the above but I also think along the lines of " where is the harm in this?"
My cousin over at daily-happenings joined in the fun at her son's school and can not see the harm on the surface neither can I .
I do struggle with the dressing up as witches and devils tho but cartoon charachters and donuts on a string is not harmful.

Having said that Hannah had to wear fancy dress to her work last Friday and she looked good.

I can see no harm in pumpkin carving either .
In England the tradition ( imported from USA) is to be ghoulish now this I have a problem with.
But what do I know I am just a single voice amongst millions .
So Happy HAlloween where ever you are and what ever you are doing.


Judie said...

My son and his wife live in Kentucky, and in their town, Halloween was celebrated on Saturday instead of Sunday. Since most children and parents these days don't have a clue as to the original meaning of All Hallows Eve, I think trick or treating on the day before is just plain silly! I think it is taking religion to the extreme. Children certainly don't see Halloween as anything other than a time to dress up and get candy!!

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Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
George Carlin