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WHAT IS HALLOWEEN REALLY ALL ABOUT???
Contents of the HALLOW.TXT file
WHAT IS HALLOWEEN REALLY ALL ABOUT???
Have you ever thought about this? Have you ever asked yourself,
"Who in the world ever thought of the idea of walking around in
weird costumes, trick-or-treating, and/or putting a carved-out
pumpkin in your window?"
You will agree with me that Halloween is really one of the
strangest days in the year, is it not? Perhaps you wonder how the
celebration of such a day ever got started. In this pamphlet I
would like to answer this question for you!
WHERE AND WHEN DID THE HALLOWEEN CUSTOMS ORIGINATE?
The many customs we have today in relation to Halloween have
their origin in the religious practices of the Romans and the
Druids, therefore dating back many centuries. The Romans
worshipped various gods, and on October 31, a special feast was
held in honor of Pomona, goddess of the fruit trees. Later the
Druids, an ancient order of Celtic priests in Britain, made this
feast an even more extensive celebration by also honoring
Samhain, lord of the dead. This was normally done on November 1
and it was therefore decided to conveniently honor both Pomona
and Samhain on October 31 and November 1.
These Druids believed that on the night before November (October
31), Samhain called together wicked souls or spirits which had
been condemned to live in the bodies of animals during the year
which had just transpired. Since they were afraid of these
spirits, they chose October 31 as a day of sacrifice to their
gods, hoping they would protect them. They really believed that
on this day they were surrounded by strange spirits, ghosts,
witches, fairies, and elves, who came out to hurt them. In
addition to this, they also believed that cats were holy animals,
as they considered them to represent people who lived formerly,
and as punishment for evil deeds were reincarnated as a cat. All
this explains why witches, ghosts, and cats are part of Halloween
The custom of trick-or-treating and the use of "jack-o'-lanterns"
comes from Ireland. Hundreds of years ago, Irish farmers went
from house to house, begging for food, in the name of their
ancient gods, to be used at the village Halloween celebration.
They would promise good luck to those who gave them food, and
made threats to those who refused to give. They simply told the
people, "You treat me, or else I will trick you!"
The apparently harmless lighted pumpkin face of "jack-o'-lantern"
actually is an old Irish symbol of a damned soul. A man named
Jack was supposed to be unable to enter heaven due to his
miserliness, and unable to enter hell because he had played
practical jokes on the devil. As a result, he was condemned to
wander over the earth with his lantern until judgment day (i.e.,
the end of the world). The Irish were so afraid that they would
receive an identical plight, that they began to hollow out
pumpkins and place lighted candles inside to scare away evil
spirits from their homes.
WHEN DID THE CELEBRATION OF HALLOWEEN, AS WE KNOW IT TODAY,
During the Middle Ages (about 600 years ago), the Roman Catholic
Church at that time, decided to make the changeover from pagan
religion to Christianity a bit easier, and therefore allowed the
new converts to maintain some of their pagan feasts. It was
agreed, however, that from now on they would be celebrated as
"Christian" feasts. So instead of praying to their heathen gods,
they would now pray to, and remember the death of saints. For
this reason the church decided to call November 1 the "Day of All
Saints," and the mass to be celebrated on that day "Alhallow
mass." In consequence of this, the evening prior to this day was
named, "All Hallowed Evening," which subsequently was abbreviated
as "Halloween." In spite of this effort to make October 31 a
"holy evening," all the old customs continued to be practiced,
and made this evening anything but a holy evening!
You would have to agree with me that also today Halloween is most
definitely not a holy evening!! This annual event is far from the
harmless, innocent tradition it is promoted to be. Many dread
this "holy" evening as they think what could happen to them,
their property, and/or their children! Consistent with its
historical roots, this evening is characterized by fear, and
frequently arouses dormant fears in many. The fear generated by
this event is symbolic of the fear which plagues so many in our
modern, morally bankrupt world. It is a gripping fear for an
unknown and very threatening future, a fear caused by a gnawing,
AN ALTERNATIVE FOR OCTOBER 31
For many in this land, this day stands for the very opposite of
fear! On this day in 1517, a German monk and professor of
theology, Dr. Martin Luther, courageously published the simple,
straightforward truth of the Bible, God's Word, which he had
rediscovered after a long and intense spiritual struggle. God
used the truth of His own Word to give Luther the inner peace he
had so desperately longed for. The Bible pointed him the way to
God Himself, and when he found God through Jesus Christ, he found
this peace which passes all understanding! He himself states that
it was as if he entered Paradise itself.
As a result of his courageous act on October 31, 1517, which
earned him the wrath of the church, the Bible came into the hands
of the common people again, and many, who as he, were deeply
troubled by sin and its consequences, found peace with God as
It was God Himself, Who used Martin Luther to bring His message
of deliverance into the hands and hearts of sinners, in order to
bring them back to Himself, and give them true peace! It is
therefore with deep gratitude to God that we wish to commemorate
October 31, as it reminds us of God's gracious and mighty deed
It is the Word of God, and its precious truth, rediscovered by
Martin Luther, which still gives true peace to many today. In the
bible alone will you find the only answer to the deep yearning of
your heart. Only when God becomes your God, through Jesus Christ,
will you find rest at last and you will answer to the true
purpose of human existence, namely, to honor, serve, and enjoy
Is the God of heaven and earth your God? If not, seek Him today,
while He still may be found!
God, manifested in Jesus Christ, invites you Himself in His Word.
Turn to the gospel of Matthew and read chapter 11:28: "Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
Those who insist on seeking inner peace without being reconciled
to God through Jesus Christ, will have to endure eternal misery
without God. God does not desire the eternal misery of man and
therefore He also extends this invitation in Ezekiel 33:11, "As I
live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the
wicked [i.e., sinner] but that the wicked turn from his way and
live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways: for why will ye die?"
* This article uploaded by permission of Chapel Library a *
* Ministry of Mt Zion Bible Church *
This is available in Tract form. Would you like to pass these
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Bill Noonkesser or Chapel Library
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