Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pulling the plug on Halloween

It is five ears since I posted this which I have now revised.

On Halloween we shall disconnect our door-bell and extinguished as many lights as possible. We will not participate in anything to do with this festival. Why not? We are told it is just harmless fun with children dressing up and getting treats. It would appear that we are kill joys for we beg to differ and seriously consider what is behind Halloween.

This is from the Wikipedia enty on the origins of Halloween.

"According to what can be reconstructed of the beliefs of the ancient Celts, the bright half of the year ended around November 1 or on a Moon-phase near that date, or at the time of first frost. The day is referred to in modern Gaelic as Samhain ("Sow-in" or alternatively "Sa-ven", meaning: End of the Summer). After the adoption of the Roman calendar with its fixed months, the date began to be celebrated independently of the Moon's phases.

As October 31st is the last day of the bright half of the year, the next day also meant the beginning of Winter, which the Celts often associated with human death, and with the slaughter of livestock to provide meat for the coming Winter. The Celts also believed that on October 31, the boundary separating the dead from the living became blurred. There is a rich and unusual myth system at work here; the spirit world, the residence of the "Sídhe," as well as of the dead, was accessible through burial mounds. These mounds opened at two times during the year, Samhain and Beltane, making the beginning and end of Summer highly spiritually resonant."

So the origins of the festival are pagan. It is to do with the occult, contact with the spirits of the dead. This is why as a Christian I reject Halloween.

The normal response to the above objection will admit the truth of the allegation but say that participants believe in no such thing. It is just harmless fun. Participants do not really believe there is any such thing as contact with another world.

My response is two-fold. Firstly participants may regard the whole thing as a myth like Father Christmas, but I take the occult seriously and believe that it is no joking matter. Satan and his fallen angels, the evil spirits are no myth. You mess with them at your peril? Have you seen The Exorcist? The benevolent captain Howdy, contacted through the ouija board, turns out to be The Devil himself.

My second response is I believe even more important. If you devalue Halloween by saying it has no real significance, then you can do the same for the Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter. The first is reduced to the festival of the red faced fat man, eating and drinking too much and giving and receiving presents. The second is merely bunnies and chocolate. Christ has disappeared. So I refuse to celebrate Halloween because I take Christmas seriously.

Finally, I object to trick and treat as a demand for money with menaces, especially when done by stranger teenagers, perhaps not even bothering to dress for the event

I believe this is a festival that has been promoted by venal commercial interests. The shops are full of its junk. It is not healthy and should be shunned. A contemporary from Ulster tells me they celebrated it in his youth. In England there was no such thing. It is the worst import from America, Macdonalds not excluded. Why cannot we celebrate their Christian festival of Thanksgiving? That commemorates Christians thanking God for deliverance. And there is the treat of early turkey

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