Growing up in a conservative Christian family, I was never allowed to go out Trick or Treating, but we always gave out candy. I never understood that part. When I was little I would ask my mother why I couldn’t dress up, and she told me it was the devil’s day. When I asked her why are we passing out candy, she responded by saying we don’t want anyone to throw eggs on our door. When I got to high school, we would make little candy packets with a funny tract and pass it out to the kids or hand out candy with a Jesus loves you sticker on them!
As I got old enough to make my own decisions, I never gave it a second thought and pretty much ignored the day. This Halloween, I saw on my Facebook and Instagram many parents posting pictures of their kids dressed up ready to go trick or treating. It’s so cute to see these kids dressed up in their outfits!
I started thinking, what is Halloween? There’s no meaning behind it, is there? It’s just harmless fun, right? Where did this day come from? Is it only about the commercialized evil goblins, ghosts, costumes, and candy? Why is a day like this so popular? A day to celebrate evil? A day where people decorate their houses with tombs, skeletons, and ghosts. I know, not everyone dresses up to scare others, you see different cartoon characters, princesses, actors, etc.
I did a bit of recon regarding this…by recon I mean Wikipedia. Here’s a simple overview of the day. I was surprised to find out this day is actually a religious day. This day is a day to remember the dead, specifically the “sainted”.. “hallow” means Holy and Halloween means, hallow evening. It goes back to the ancient Celtic harvest festival of Samhain. The Celtics celebrated their new year on November 1st. They believed their sun god was losing strength because of the days being shorter and the leaves falling off the trees. They believed that the night before this November 1st, the spirits would come at night and haunt the people. To ward of all the spirits, the people would dress up in costumes to scare off the evil spirits.
Knowing the background behind this, I am a bit hesitant to “celebrate” or take part in this day. At least now I know this wasn’t created to boost the American economy! 🙂