Many Christians have a major problem with Halloween. As the above quote shows, they are under the false impression that Halloween is a Satanist Holiday with connections to ancient paganism. Yes, adults still fall for the myths and urban legends that unite Satanism with Halloween. My goal is to explain why Conservative Christians are wrong when it comes to Satanism and why Pagan origins do not matter for most other Christian holidays.
Origins of Halloween
Halloween stems from two religious holidays: the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saints Day. The combination of the two Holidays plus modern myths have created what we know today as Halloween, celebrated on October 31 of every year.
The Festival of Samhain
For the most part, Samhain was a celebration of the end of harvest season. It also had a second importance: It was the Celtic new year. The Gaulish Calendar seperated the year into two parts; the Dark half and the Light half. Samhain was the beginging of the dark half of the year (What we know as late fall and winter). During the medieval era, Samhain become the up most important holiday. It was celebrated for three days in Tara (where tradition says the High King of Ireland was seated ans was a very sacred place for the Celts) where many people would assemble. A large bonfire was lit on top of the Hill of Tara, which was to signal people all over Ireland to light their own bonfires. And while the festival was to celebrate the end of harvest and to bring in the Celtic new year, it also had a spiritual side. It was believed by many ancient Celts that during this festival, the doorway to the other world would be opened for the dead and other “evils” to enter our world. This is the origin of many of the scary traditions associate with our Halloween.
All Saints Day
All Saints Day was started with Pope Boniface IV. Boniface chose May 13, an already pagan holiday known as the Festival of Lemures. The Festival of Lemures was a day in which people feared and exorcised restless malevolent spirits from their home A little more than one hundred years later, Pope Gregory III changed the date of All Saints Day to its current date. The holiday usually fell within a couple of weeks of the Celtic holiday Samhain.
The Satanist Urban Legends
Much of the current urban legends that unite Satanism with Halloween stem from an ignorance of the origins of the term Satanism and of the religion itself. With this misunderstanding of Satanism, fears spread widely through the Christian church about the practices and beliefs of Satanists.
The biggest Church/Organization termed Satanist is the Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in the 1960s. The first and biggest misconception people have about the Church of Satan is their worship of Satan, The followers do not, in fact, worship a Deity of any kind. They place major emphasis on the power and authority of individual satanists, rather than a Deity or quasi deity.
The second biggest misconception about Satanism is ritual sacrifice. Urban legends spread throughout North America that Satanists would sacrifice babies on Halloween. This is urban legend was never verified, but was shown to be false by law enforcement agencies in the areas where these urban legends sprung up. Satanists believe that all life is important and place emphasis on Children as the purest form of life. They would never do anything to intentionally harm a child.
Paganism in Christianity
Pagan origins is one of the main arguments Christians make against Halloween. Apparently these Christians do not realize that their most sacred holidays come from Pagan origins.
The name of the sacred holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second person in the Holy Trinity in Christianity, the God incarnate, is comes from ancient Anglo-Saxon Paganism. The name Easter is derived from the name of the Goddess Eastre. And as you can see, there is only a one letter difference between the name of the pagan goddess and the name of the Christian holiday. But it is not just the name that comes from pagan origins, it is the symbols within the holiday as well.
Eastre was the Goddess of fertility. Her animal was the hare. The pagan symbol of the Hare is still used today during Easter celebrations, but the name of the animal has changed to a “bunny”. Eastre’s symbol, since she was the goddess of fertility, was the egg. Once again, still a symbol used today during Easter celebrations.
Christmas is another sacred holiday celebrated by Christians with pagan origins. This Christian holiday is used to celebrate the birth of their savior and God incarnate. Yet, like Easter, it stems from ancient paganism.
During the winter solstice, ancient Pagans used to cut down evergreen trees and bring them into either their homes or their temples in order to celebrate the coming of winter. And this, of course, is still used by many Christians today. The trees are known as “Christmas Trees”
Another similarity between modern Christmas and ancient paganism was the day known as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti or The Birthday of the unconquered Sun. This was a day in which the birth dates of several sun gods were celebrated on the same day. This day was celebrated during the winter solstice or mid December.
As you can see, Christian fears and complaints of Halloween are usually not grounded in reality. Many of the fears they hold are lies created by earlier Christians in order to deter their brethern from celebrating this particular holiday. The issue of the pagan origins can be found within their most sacred holidays, yet they use the pagan origins of Halloween to stay was from this so-called “evil” celebration. The lies and hypocracy of the Christian Chruch, when it comes to Halloween, is enormous.